It does seem like an excursion… To India, at least. The opening track “Triangular” draws a lot – and literally – from Indian Music, and mixes it with modern electronic, almost ambient music. That can indeed make a strong first impression, and if it was the original idea, it was a good one and did work. However, “Excursions” is much more than its first track, and you should be prepared for a very broad experience.
“Excursions” is a very ethnic record indeed, in mysterious ways, which is uncommon on this side of the musical spectrum, and you can notice other unusual influences – more or less obvious – in many more tracks throughout this record. Null Device pack it up with their soothing and relaxing approach to make it a very solid yet varied album. While some may point some lack of cohesion due to the enormous array of influences at large on this record, others may even tend to misjudge it – due to the popular expectation of “coherent” records – that it may go Bhangra all the way, an assumption which is easily proven wrong after a couple more tracks.
From the Middle East and India, to jazzy bits, going through synthpop elements mixed with modern electronic pop plus a little of “nature calls” meditation as-seen-on-TV discs, or even absorbing something from those long series of “world music” along with much, much more. “Excursions” even roams closely to a sort of a technoid feel at times, or explores very subtle breakbeat rhythmic patterns at others, and how an anyone not notice the flamenco guitar? Though mostly a quite relaxing album, Null Device occasionally break the appeal to procrastination with strategically placed groovier tracks, never letting you down to sleep, yet still gently rocking the cradle all the way throughout the eleven songs.
You know it when you find something that can’t be easily categorized and yet it does fit the title with such perfection that only the album itself can rival with… This is one of those cases and it does make it as an interesting experience indeed. Null Device’s third album “Excursions” is indeed an exotic travel through soundscapes, a cultural and musical exploration, and one can truly feel the maturity the band is reaching and look forward to what they will come up with next.
– Gonçalo Vasco [9/10]