Everyone has their music rituals. Someone love to sit in a dark room listening to vinyls, others love to play CDs while driving on the highway or stream on Spotify while laying in bed. Mine is to go for a walk, accompanied only by my walkman. No internet connection, no distractions, no one else besides me, the music and the artists. Every cassette means a different relationship, and when it’s the turn to pick the Wave 003 cassette, I’m always happy that the one who welcomes me to this ceremony is Noah B.
With features in many of wave’s pivotal albums and articles, he has marked my participation in the wave scene since my first encounter with the genre. In this thriving year for the movement, I’m very happy that he has decided to add more fuel to the fire with a brand new LP. Heavy Armor, Noah B’s third album, is what I consider the highest expression of his distinctive, colorful, cinematic vision. A music stamp consistently developed and nurtured over the years and here enhanced in 12 incredible tracks that encompass all the artist’s versatility.
The scenarios the album immediately pictures are, obviously, space-themed. While I listen to ‘Hyperion’, I feel like I’m witnessing infinite horizons spotted by galaxies that sparkle like tiles in an endless mosaic. ‘Cloudburst’ instead, seems to narrate the loneliness of the celestial bodies, forced to move in eternal loops in the intangibility of the universe. Yet, in this case, the vastness conveyed by these visions it’s not menacing, but makes you feel part of something wonderful. It makes you feel home in the unknown, creating a sense of belonging and stripping away the armor that shields us from not just the world, but from our true selves.
The narration of the story develops in a homogeneous way throughout the course of the album, a journey without interruptions or digressions across a range of genres and sounds. Among the more wave-oriented downtempo vibes, I was more than surprised to find also Drum & Bass cuts. ‘Planeswalker’ and ‘Distance’ are two majestic examples of liquid D&B. Nothing to do with certain questionable hybridizations we have seen this year under the #D&B2020 label. Noah B’s languid sound pulsations, arpeggiation and synthesis, blend perfectly even with the Drum & Bass tighter groove, creating a heavenly match which I immediately fell in love with.
Going back to the initial anecdote, despite its ethereal atmospheres, I believe that Heavy Armon is an LP that gives its best in a physical format. A piece that I would like to add to my collection at all costs. Until then, I will be sure to enjoy it on Soundcloud, Spotify and Audius.