Finnish instrumental duo NYOS releasing ‘Navigation’ (stream it)
The digital era is unfair to artists. Not because streaming doesn’t pay well -- if we’re being frank musicians being underpaid is one of the only constants in this absurd industry -- but because the past pace of consumption has robbed artists of the time it takes to develop a sound. A band’s first album is almost never likely to be their best, and we rarely afford them opportunities to tinker and improve on their original design.
NYOS, a duo from Finland, have solved this problem by expediting their growth on their newest album Navigation, which you can stream below. After working in the long song format for their first release Vitava, the instrumental band quickly turned around and dove into shorter songs, returning now with a full length album that tightens their focus and gives them room to see each concept to its logical conclusion.
The process behind the band’s work remains the same, guitarist Tom Brooke uses loops to gradually build out arrangements, while drummer Tuomas Kainulainen dances around the static motifs like a boxer probing his opponent for weaknesses. Kainulainen is a singular talent, equally adept at full kit freakouts ("Icon") as he is at subtle, percolating grooves ("La Playa"). If you’re the type to look up gospel chops drum cam videos in your spare time, Kainulaninen’s performance alone is worth a listen, but Brooke’s guitar playing and melodic sensibility isn’t to be overlooked. Brooke, a clear disciple of bands like Russian Circles, never goes overboard with his loop use, carefully choosing patterns that can work against a multitude of rhythms and chords. This pays off big when he and Kainulanien lay into the material -- the drums take care of the subdivisions, giving room for Brooke to soar over the top with righteous power.
Navigation will be released on 9/29 via Meta Matter. A full stream of the album premieres below: