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Tom Laskin MadTracks — 'Snow and Joy' by Null Device
Tom Laskin on Friday 10/05/2007 1:41 pm
Excursions by Null Device

A mix of Middle Eastern rhythms and anxious Spanish guitar rouse “Snow and Joy,” a roiling global groove by Null Device that reminds you just how accomplished these local synth jockeys are.

Eric Oehler's elastic vocals are more out front on a number of the other tracks on the group's new album Excursions, but his performance here has a Romanticism about it that's redolent of the Moorish conquest and the cultural changes it wrought on the Iberian peninsula. Suggestive loops and the aforementioned Spanish guitar add to the impression that here Null Device very much intend to chronicle the onward rush of implacable historical forces.

Obviously, it's the kind of tune you wouldn't really expect to bubble up from the heartland. But Null Device have always been a sophisticated crew, and their synth-laden work has had international appeal precisely because they take risks and search far and wide for new sources of inspiration.