It’s been a very long wait, but what a joy it is to finally see a new release by the legendary vintage collective Node since its debut in 1995. “Node 2” is the culmination of two recording sessions of Ed Buller, Flood (aka Mark Ellis), Dave Bessell and new member Mel Wesson that took place over the last year and a half at London’s Battery studios.
Like in the old days, the musicians made music in the moment and recorded straight to two tracks. They relied on the energy and inspiration hanging in the air while indulging their secret passion for all things profoundly analogue. From the first track on it becomes clear these guys still push sonic boundaries, coming up with energizing vintage pads and exciting, heavy sequencer patterns. Just dig the Berlin sequencing-driven “Shinkansen East” kicking off the album, to hear them firing all engines in a great psychedelic, imaginative fashion. Good examples of the latter would be the rough shapes, drilling sequencer-lines and VCS-3 sounds making up the quirky “Becoming” and dynamic “Doppler”.
The following eight versatile tracks reveal the heart and soul but also the strange ways of passionate vintage electronics: never predictable but always surprising as the subtle analogue microtone and more upfront electronics surface in both chill-out or fiercer nature, nicely accompanied by Dave Bessell’s fine, moody guitar work.
“March Méchanique” is another odd track, mixing martial rhythms with Arabic flavors and some intriguing sequencing. “Dark Beneath the Earth” on the other hand could be a piece of film music before another pile of sparkling energy is released on “Shinkansen West”, the sister-track to the album’s opener.
The grainy, unpolished edge of the adventurous outcome makes things shine even more. On “Node 2”, a fascinating analogue steam train runs again with a massive beast lurking inside!