act 291 · nimon · the king is dead · cd

01. when a home is no longer anyone's home
02. never enough time
03. suppression
04. the weight of inevitability
05. a box of old photographs
06. integrity
07. these old bones
08. free at last
09. something i'll never forget
10. a pond in wales
11. internalising an explosion
12. the end of days...

upc 821272210320
release date: 10.april.2014
includes a download code for the 'long live the king' digital release

keef baker founded his side project nimon to cope the high amount of intense feelings caused by the loss of his mother, resulting in the album 'drowning in good intentions', a compelling work of deep emotional ambiance. nimon's second release 'the king is dead' also became a very personal one, a musical dedication to keef's father who passed away in 2013. this album illustrates this outstanding artist's self-expression getting along with this tragic strike of fate. more than three hours of music were spontaneously made as a basis for the twelve final tracks which were mastered by the legendary electronic / ambient musician robert rich.

nimon's musical concept is based on the only usage of a digitally manipulated electric guitar to create epic cinematic soundscapes influenced by brian eno, fennesz and tim hecker. a mélange of blissful panoramic drones, distorted textures and deep, reverberated chordplay that will leave the listener in a state of heaviness and weightlessness at the same time. the ability of emotional translation into sound combined with the mastery of six strings generate a continuous flow of ideas that details a unique storyline for each pair of ears to decipher, transporting a different array of emotions that are as uplifting as they are tragic. a compelling inner mind's soundtrack with feelings of distress, melancholy and, once again, with hope.

discography 04.2k14:
nomin. long live the king. digital album. ant-zen dig034. 2014
nimon. the king is dead. cd. ant-zen act291. 2014
displacer & nimon. house of the dying sun. cd. hymen records ¥821. 2014
nimon. drowning in good intentions. cd. ant-zen act281. 2013

official webpage:

derzeit scheint keef baker sehr umtriebig zu sein: nicht nur, dass er mit seinem projekt nimon vergangenes jahr im gedenken an seine verstorbene mutter das album drowning in good intentions ein sehr emotionales werk erschuf. erst dieses jahr schaffte er mit displacer zusammen das werk house of the dying sun und nun kommen bereits zwei neue alben heraus, die musikalisch und thematisch ineinander verwoben sind. the king is dead soll dabei als hauptbestandteil verstanden werden, long live the king, für das die vokale im projektnamen auch getauscht wurden, als erweiterung, die zudem auch nur digital erscheint. doch egal mit welchem album man beginnt, mit welchem man endet oder ob man beide alben einfach parallel laufen lässt: das ergebnis bleibt gleichermaßen beeindruckend. wiederum widmet sich das album einem verstorbenen elternteil und auch hier findet sich die emotionale grundstimmung wieder, die von schmerz, verlust und hoffnung getragen wird. ganz im stile von brian enos ambient-werken wird hier mit minimalistischen mitteln eine organische klanglandschaft geschaffen, die mal durch melancholie, mal durch farbenfreude gekennzeichnet ist. was aber bleibt, ist die tiefe der musik, in der elektronisch manipulierte gitarren zu hören sind, die dann durch flirrende und oszillierende klänge, echos und chöre ein tiefes und intensives klangerlebnis bieten. wie ein strudel zieht das album den hörer in seinen bann und man scheint durch traumwelten zu wandeln, die keine klaren formen besitzen und doch versteht man alles um sich herum, denn das album versteht es, auf der gefühlsebene anzusprechen, die universell verständlich ist. (tristan osterfeld)
i have to say i've always had a thing for ambient music - the way it builds, peaks, ebbs and flows - it genuinely isn't like any other music in terms of its structure at all. the problem is some ambient music is just sound without beats. it needs warmth, it needs depth, it really needs atmosphere, in order for me to call it the electronic music i love. nimon nearly has all of these qualities - there is a real emotional quality to the work - and unlike a lot of electronic music, a lot of soul. the melancholy nostalgia within the tracks could be a product of the creative process - but this album, like the debut "drowning in good intentions" before it, have strong personal reasons for the artist, on this occasion the death of the artist's father, and the music is obviously the outlet for these. it is an amazing gesture that we are allowed to listen to these tracks at all really, and very hard to be analytical of such a body of work, but suffice to say this isn't an ordinary album, especially when you consider all the sounds were created on electric guitar, with various amounts of manipulation involved. the beauty of the sounds are evident - creating almost aural photographs, so strong are the images. it is hard to pick out individual tracks, both due to the subject matter, and for the fact that ambient music doesn't really work within those confines - but "these old bones" resonates strongly with its reverberating drones, as does "a box of old photographs", which ploughs a similar line with orchestral sweeps. swathes and washes of sound bring pain and relief in equal measure across these tracks - none more so than with "internalising an explosion" - some of these tracks will leave you gasping for breath... now, not that i don't like it, but "the weight of inevitability" doesn't sit well with me through its plodding refrain, and "free at last" is a little too toy-piano for my taste. the album also has an addendum in the form of nomin's "long live the king". this is a digital-only album created to be played alongside the one reviewed here - or by itself. the focus is on found sounds and abstraction - which makes for an interesting addition to the reviewed material. overall though, a beautiful body of work which you should really try to seek out to show that electronic music is not just to dance to, but to cry to also... (mike whyte)

keith (keef) baker has been a very busy individual since closing the lid on his electronic self-titled output, with his nimon project that approaches music from an altogether more serious tone. as the follow up to last years 'drowning in good intentions' (dedicated to his mother who passed away), i can only feel for baker as his father also left this world, resulting in his latest work 'the king is dead' (which also includes a slip to download it's partner album 'long live the king'). life can deliver many a cruel blow, but i feel keith has approached this with humility on both counts, with what can only be the most cathartic way to deal with such episodes in life's journey. as the distant chamber reverberations of 'when a home is no longer anyone's home' rise, it is all too easy to feel the immediacy of baker's grief. however, underneath the ranging and soaring waves of guitar led ambience, there is undoubtedly, memories of greater and happier times that i am sure are led with flagships of photographs on the walls, representing the existence of an individual who brought a great deal of happiness; and in reality, no matter how sad it is when someone is torn away from us, they never truly are, as memories always live on in the smiles on those faces forever frozen in time. 'the king is dead', whilst travelling the same corridors as its predecessor, speaks with an ever-so-slight difference in tone, reflecting the feelings towards the personality of his father, whilst no less as loving as those towards his mother. it is hard to break down individual tracks, as once again this is best consumed as a whole listening experience; where there are inevitable nods at the likes of christian fennesz musically, whilst retaining the individuality of keith's drone-work and programming skills. cleverly, baker has produced a counter-album in the form of 'long live the king', that is meant to be played simultaneously along-side its cd released brother. this has been done before, but not by many and takes a great deal of gusto and bravery to attempt such a feat. together (yes i managed it), this digital download younger sibling fills out the (not so evident) gaps of tkid that you miss when playing it as a sole item. inevitably as a result, lltk is a strange beast if you play it as a separate entity, hanging on the darker crannies of the ambient scale; providing an altogether peculiar and almost psychotropic experience. the culmination of effort made with this latest output deserves attention and a round of applause from those that make music themselves; and whilst it would do a disservice to his debut (and indeed everything that it represents) to score this higher, it would be unfair not to recognise the sheer toil involved in producing something of this nature. looking to the future i sincerely hope mr baker has other (and happier) avenues to focus his attention on when it comes to producing future work under this banner.

igloo magazine
uncompromising defender of underground electronic music in its pluralistic form (covering a large range of styles, from power electronics, to drone noise ambient, abstract experimentalism and post techno chillout), the legendary ant-zen notably released the last nimon release (aka keith baker). with two past substantial materials for ant-zen and hymen records, keith baker already made a name on the international and contemporary ambient dronescaping scene. this new effort—a dedication to his father's passing in 2013—is recognizable, profoundly atmospheric and dreamily ecstatic, with slow, warm and short-form guitar ambient based sound tapestries. gently flowing guitar resonances, echoing minimalist motifs and convoluted electronics envelop this album with a solemn and peacefully emotional shimmer. all tracks follow a parallel implicit objective, to explore and depict with sound colors the gallery of our imagination, personal, cheerful and fragmented waves of memories, the existential vulnerability. from the melancholic and pastoral-hymn like beauty of the first tracks we progressively enter in a vast corpus of noisy ambient excursions and entrancing guitar tricks as in the sublime and utterly lovely "integrity." classically wavering ambient textures with dream pop accents are blissfully intertwined to noisy and gauzy cinematic drone blackness as in the superb "these old bones." "something i'll never forget" and "internalising an explosion" express more sculpted, wintery and ethereal synthscaping motifs with an incredibly intense sonorous component. "the end of days..." closes the album with a serene and hyper spleen like track for long guitar drones and moving melodious vibes. a true heart-breaking and magnificent epilogue. this album's stylistic approach is somewhere in between the bluesy, detached and crying guitar laments of loren connors, the classy ambient introspective scenery of christian fennesz and the softly evanescent dronescapes of aethenor. a ravishing, intriguing and sensational avant-organic ambient guitar album. first revelation of the year and truly recommended. (philippe blache)

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