naytronix

On his 2012 debut album as Naytronix, tUnE-yArDs-bassist Nate Brenner explored the concept of “post-apocalyptic robots” via the medium of Bootsy Collins-inspired funk. In keeping with rock‘n’roll tradition, this follow-up focuses on – and was created in – the dead-time during touring. Mercifully, ‘Mister Divine’ proves a self-pity-free meditation on the theme, exploring emotions of rootlessness by creating an atmosphere akin to lucid dreaming.

It works particularly well on ‘The Wall’. Over the warmth of a syncopated horn sample, intricate hi-hat pattern and dancing bass runs, Brenner mourns “Never ever wanted to go,” later adding, “I’ve been feeling so confused for a while now.” The lurching bass line, squelching percussive samples and pitch-shifted backing vocals on ‘Starting Over’ further illustrate that sense of disorientation, while on the joyous, William Onyeabor-esque funk of ‘Dream’, Brenner beseeches, “Tell my mother I miss home.”

Brenner’s fluid approach to composition can become meandering at points but, overall, its strong message and sharpened emphasis on melody make ‘Mister Divine’ a more satisfying listen than ‘Dirty Glow’.

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