After years of more conventional songwriting and output,
Nicholas Edward Hertzberg brings forth an album like he has never written or released before.
"Smartest Man in the Morgue" is his first venture into electronic-based songs and song-writing. Everything utilized on the album (except for his voice) is an electronic based, inorganic instrument. Rather it be a synthesizer, drum machine, effects pedal or the main usage of Ableton Live with a MIDI-pad...both the machine's fruitfulness and limitations serve up abrasive and unique sonic textures.
Within these nine offerings, all spectrums of a versatile genre are covered with Nick's personal touch. In some songs, dark-ambient drones meet pulsing and twitching loops with gothic synths singing. While in others, buzzing and feedback-frantic, noisy hisses and pounding, reverb soaked industrial drums work against each other in deranged harmony. Influence was primarily drawn from contemporary experimental artists he has loved and listened to, but never experienced the conception of their craft until now.
A majority of the album was recorded live in studio, with very little overdubbing done. This makes for forty-plus minutes in which the listener can sometimes hear "errors," buttons being pressed, or a little extra noise- not as polished as some usually expect with these types of recordings. Multiple takes of songs, which were highly improvised, were performed and the "best" ones chosen to be presented here. The overall intention of this was for one person be able to re-create these songs in a live setting without solely relying upon samples.
The approach makes for a more raw, gritty listen one would expect from a punk band than that of one composed solely by artificial instrumentation.
Known for always striving to push creative and personal boundaries, a new window for NEH's writing and productivity has been opened.
The possibility of it shutting does not seem likely in the foreseeable future, so expect more new material in this vein sooner than later.
FFO: Prurient, Cold Cave, Boards of Canada, Swans
released February 2, 2015
Written, Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by
Nicholas Edward Hertzberg
Cover Model: Gregory Woods
all rights reserved