Nautiluss Angels & Daemons

Nautiluss Angels & Daemons
6
Originally from Montreal, and formerly one-half of Thunderheist, Toronto-based DJ and producer Graham Bertie has adopted the Nautiluss alias. Over the last decade, he's had releases on notable labels (Turbo, Hemlock Recordings, Spectral Sound) that have seen him venture into dreamy deep house, dark techno and soulful post-dubstep. As with many artists in the current underground electronic music scene, he's carefully avoided categorization, taking cues from house, techno and the entire history UK bass music.
 
Last year saw Bertie assembled a remarkable package for his Liquid Sky EP, on Modeselektor's newly revived Seilscheibenpfeiler label, placing him alongside heavyweights such as Peder Mannerfelt, Lory D, Solid Blake and Fjaak. His second contribution to the German label is the Angels & Daemons EP.
 
After such a strong record, it's strangely hard not to be disappointed by this one. The opening track "Guccifer" has all the right ingredients: the deep brooding bass, the two-step swing, the Detroit flavours and the old school rave stabs that show up near the end. Yet, despite all this, there seems to be that one extra element missing, the one little idea that would elevate it into something great. Similarly, "Snakes and Ledgers"  and "A Moment of Clarity" are more than competent numbers, yet lack any distinctive characteristics.
 
But it isn't without its gem, as "WiFi Oasis" is certainly one of Bertie's best tracks in his discography. He dials up the tempo, bringing together IDM production sensibilities, twitchy and angular hi-hats, and a jungle-esque bass that create a restless groove while the dreamy synths soar over them. It's seemingly effortless and fully engaging, and succeeds where the other three tracks failed: it demarcates itself within the current underground scene where doing so is increasingly difficult because of the constant hybridization that is practised by an increasing number of artists. (Seilscheibenpfeiler)