French remixer and producer Joakim Bouaziz returns with his fourth album Nothing Gold. A collection of tracks, each representing an individual character which he has created. After previous album 'Milky Ways' which experimented with a range of ideas and instrumentation, Joakims latest offering was an exciting prospect.
After the opening 'Intro' which provides an atmospheric wavering of tones and sounds, second track 'Forever Young' and no, not Alphaville's 'Forever Young' (that would be horrifically out of place) springs into life with uplifting synth's and a heavy electronic bassline. Joakim chooses to voice the vocals in English rather than French, which is strange considering how personal the topics of the songs are. Fourth track 'Nothing Gold' opens with an effect that creates a haunting atmosphere before the African influenced percussion kicks in alongside a funky bassline, the vocals 'my love is gone' sums up the topic of the album, the journey from childhood to adulthood, and they create a hypnotic atmosphere when combined with spiralling synthesised string parts and the ongoing drumbeat.
Album highlight 'Wrong Blood' makes trawling through some of the less convincing tracks on the album all worth it, with arpeggiated synths echoing throughout and heavenly chord changes pulsing behind the vocals, it's a fast- paced track that demands you to nod your head or show some sort of acknowledgement. LCD Soundsystem influenced 'Labyrinth' is a soulful pop number with light vocals lying on top of a powerful, defined bassline.
Although the 80's influenced basslines and electronic focus can be rewarding in parts of the eleven tracks which make up 'Nothing Gold', in general the album is very hard to listen to all the way through and demands a great deal of patience. Prior to the album's release it was expected that Joakim would occupy an experimental approach when recording and producing 'Nothing Gold' in his Paris home, but the numerous layers and splashing of effects tend to merge into one, ongoing electronic track throughout the album. Some songs work individually but overall Joakims latest offering makes it hard to be drawn in by his overwhelmingly chilled out world.