Nilaihah Records
main main about merch bands live contact forum downloads links
Launch MP3 Player
NAMNAMBULU REVIEWS >>>

Alone - CDS 2005
GothicInfo.net
Metropolis Records
________________________________


Distances - CD 2004
Legends Magazine
Synthpop.net (Nilaihah)
Altercation Magazine
Moving Hands Magazine
SynthpopAvenue
Wetworks ezine
Re>gen Magazine
UltraElectro.com Ezine
Hardwired
A Different Drum
Synthpop.net (Infacted)
Wrapped in Wire
Re>gen Magazine
DJ Aceldama
Wetworks ezine
Industrial Nation
Yet Another Electro Webzine
________________________________

Expansion - EP 2004
Industrial Nation
The Dark Side (translated and edited)
The City Morgue
Synthpop.net
Release Magazine
Gothtronic

 

REVIEWS

GothicInfo.net
The history of NamNamBulu is probably known to most people whom are into the electropop genre. Having released their first album in the last half of 2002, they rapidly gained popularity within the scene, only to come to a sudden stop some three years later, as producer Vasi Vallis and Henrik Iversen could no longer cooperate due to personal problems between the two.

One of the last things the couple left us was the MCD Alone, consisting of five tracks and three different songs. The songs Alone and Moments, both of which are available in two different versions, are danceable from start to end. The clean vocals and well-timed beats are sure to keep the attention of any fan of the genre. And when you, for whatever reason, don't feel like dancing, you can fast-forward to the last track Contaminated, which takes you to a dreamy world of electronic beats, without vocals to disturb your thoughts for almost five minutes.

All in all it's a good cd, although there certainly better ways to spend your money, as over ten euros for three tracks seems to be twice the price that should be asked for it. Although NamNamBulu ceased to exist, Vasi Vallis continued his production work with his new band Reaper.

Jurjen - GothicInfo.net

Metropolis Records
In less than two years, NAMNAMBULU managed to reach a top position all over the world and concerts throughout most countries in Europe! Just back from successful gigs in Istanbul, Oslo, and Milano and the sold-out EHW-Benefit Festivals in Germany (with VNV NATION and COMBICHRIST), NAMNAMBULU finally present a first taster for and outlook to their eagerly awaited second full-length, planned to be released after summer 2005! "Alone" is once again a typical NNB club hit and will be present on this new EP in two different versions (Radio Mix and Club Mix). For the track "Moments," NAMNAMBULU intended to go new ways in their music and asked singer Rouven Walterowicz (ENDANGER) to perform as guest star on this track - the result is a duet of very special charm! This EP will also include two exclusive tracks and mixes. On Infacted Recordings through Nilaihah Records.

Metropolis Records


________________________________________________________

Legends Magazine
NamNamBulu, crushing dancefloors worldwide, have comprised a CD full of synthpop goodness. Expansion has shown the bands' maturity in sound and composition. It's funny when I first heard the band I wasn't really grabbed by their sound, but after a couple of listens can't do without them. Catchy rhythms, upbeat tempos and all the emotion one could expect from such an outing.

The CD is comprised of eleven tracks and each as good as the next. The signature sound of NNB is one that many bands will be influenced by years to come. It's a great treat to be able to review this disc, especially after reviewing so many noise CDs. With that being said we'll delve into Expansion.

Faces starts the disc off with the traditional dancefloor grooves this genre is so well known for. Stomping beats and delightful synth structures. Four on the floor bass with up-tempo synthpop similar to the Apoptygma boys, although I find NNB a lot more enjoyable than the APB outfit. Mind blowing production work on sound. Game comes in at number two on our journey into Expansion. The intro comes in nicely, leading you into another floor pounder. The CD, the more I listen to it, can only be described as Nilaihah's best release to date...possibly the best outfit on the label at this point. The game of life is what the content is describing in this track and it's well written. I might add that Vasi has a way with words. The music is pretty and uplifting with a dark side that is somewhat covered by the glitz of dancefloor rhythms.

Zeit follows suit, sung in German and adding the ethnic diversity here. Flowing synthpop that may make other bands jealous of the boost of real perfection that only NNB can provide. Forgiving takes the sound to another level as :SITD: pays a visit to give the track a more aggressive edge vocally. I couldn't even picture Vasi doing the hard vocal approach but add :sitd: and a new sound emerges. A great collaboration with bubbly synth washes and pounding beats. Nice work guys!

Perspective comes in at number five. Almost starting off as if you were about to expect Funkervogt to come on, but NamNamBulu crashes through the front door with yet another electro masterpiece. Expansion includes one awesome track after another and this one no exception, keeping the beat fresh and jumping.

Coming in a little harder on the industrial tip on this one, Transcending adds a swap of synths perhaps, but has a more aggressive sound emanating from the speakers. Bumping up the BPMs, Faces (WHS Remix) keeps a solid backbeat and adds a little more lead synth in the mix.

The Forgiving (Transformation Remix) adds a little delay to the :SITD: vocals and sinks it a bit deeper into the mix. Although a great remix, the original is better in my opinion. A Memories (Club Remix) chimes in at number nine and keeps the beat pumping. Uptempo synthpop with elements of Tampa style breakbeat added to the mix giving it a sound capable of crossing subcultures in may genres. Surviving (Synth Amok Remix) - I'm not familiar with the original unfortunately, so we have to review this as the song at hand. The beat is solid, the content is emotional and heartfelt as only Vasi can conjure up. The elements of trance, breakbeat and synthpop make this band one of the top picks right now.

NamNamBulu have created another fine gem. Not one track should be skipped. My thanks to the label for sending Legends this CD and my apologies for not getting to the other NNB CD I was supposed to review before this one. It unfortunately got damaged in storage in my closet much to my dissatisfaction as I was so looking forward to listening to it and adding it to my collection along with this disc, so on that note "Sorry guys." This is synthpop at it's best. Grab ‘em while they last.

DJ Rivethead @ Legends Magazine

Synthpop.net
As I mentioned in my review of the Infacted Records release of this album, this version adds a few things that the original European release didn't have on it. But it still has the same artwork and minimal liner notes. However, this version adds a cd-rom video for the track "Memories", one of my favorites from the album. The video is very professional looking, and mixes in some live footage with some more cinematic elements nicely. This edition also adds a exclusive remix of "Now Or Never" that extends the intro for the song and also explores the melody of the track a little more, sacrificing a bit of the beat-heavy focus of the original. But that's not bad at all, in fact this is a neat somewhat slower take on the song.

But, even though this version only adds one song and a video, that still gives it the edge over the European release, to me. This was a great album to begin with, and Nilaihah has added just enough to bump it up into the essential category. With irresistible dramatic vocals, hard-hitting beats and awesome chorus hooks, this is a album you simply must have! --Jason Baker, Synthpop.net

Altercation Magazines
Even if you can¹t say the name on the first try, Namnambulu are a band that hits you immediately, and in more than one way. The thick vocals drift through a pensive introspection while a heavy beat keeps your pulse and/ore feet moving. The purgatorial mix of ballad and dance track makes Distances a unique album, comparable perhaps to slower pieces by VNV Nation, with just as many attractive hooks and laden with a dramatically gripping vocal quality. Overall, Distances has made the cut to my permanent iTunes track list, which means Nambambulu get an A+.. --Daryl Litts, Altercation Magazine

Moving Hands Magazines
Swiss act NamNamBulu must be very proud to present almost 60 minutes of high quality Synthpop mixed with future pop melodies. It grows on you in a way no album has done on me in a while. --Anders Larsson, Moving Hands Magazine

SynthpopAvenue
Beautiful melodies & catchy tunes in the tradition of Depeche Mode or Camouflage, dressed with the futurepop synth sounds of Vasi & the deep emotional vocals of Henrik. "Distances" is definitely a very promising debut, that doesn't sound at all like a debut and distinguishes NamNamBulu from the "synthpop crowd." -- Spacelab, SynthpopAvenue

Wetworks
An act that has been hiding just below the radar to many, NamNamBulu are not to be undermined in their sound. Melodic and enjoyable, it maintains a steady flow from beginning to end without a noticable weak point throughout the The group are paving their way to being a successful name in the industry. Those not familiar with should take the time to experience the sound. -- Proteus93, Wetworks

Re>gen Magazine
The cover's clean lines might give you some idea of the music to be found herein and this debut from Swiss band NamNamBulu very definitely puts the 'pop' into futurepop, verging on synthpop in places. When bands choose to work in these areas, VNV Nation and Apoptygma Berzerk comparisons are pretty much par for the course.-Nick Garland, Re>gen magazine

UltraElectro.com
Things come and go in music regualrly. We all see it. Some acts start off slow and clunky and evolve into something much more devloped and involving for its audience, where as others start off fast and piercing only to fade away into unlistenable obscurity with a relatively nil audience at the end, while still some others start off a fading flame and remain just in that same way for the rest of the period in which they found themselves stumbling on their own releases.

In a way, I suppose the crown of glory is handed over from act to act on regular occasion. The crown I am talking about is that unwritten appraisal, that marks the bearer of a new interpretation of style in a genre. This crown is earned rather than given, usually spread out into the masses through word of mouth reccomendation by those who first purchased, and as more and more take the plungo into, it continues to gain its power from new believers. What was at first an album from a relatively unknown act grows into a powerhouse of epic proportions, or at least epic within the confines of the scene. This is the crowning glory, the invigoration of the coming of something old and something new surely to join such acts as Covenant and VNV Nation as the heads of their field.

We all know that futurepop and EBM have become a standard happening in the scene for a while. Mostly everyone has been exposed to it, love it or hate it. Though some acts come across with heavy beats and insane programming, there is usually something at a loss in the elements of topic or vocal aptitude. It is few and far between an act can create a perfect balance between these two.

Namnambulu has succeeded greatly on both counts, through an incredible powerhouse of electronic programming and distinguished, piercing vocals and lyrics that perfectly compliment the changes the tracks layed out is perfectly in tune with.

This album is, without a fraction of a doubt, one of the best albums if not *the* best album of 2003. Working with such themes to take the listener in and help them identify with the songs in such a powerful way, this album sets new standards of quality for music in this genre, and a great level of excitement for the coming of their future releases.

A wonderful awe inspiring spectacle of a debut full legth release or sleeper hit, you absolutely must buy this album now! *****/***** -- Gary Otto www.ultra-electro.com

Hard Wired
With this debut the Swiss duo NamNamBulu prove that, no matter how many future pop bands there are, as long as the songs are good enough there's always room for one more. And good enough they certainly are as keyboardist Vasi Valis & vocalist Henrik Iversen prove time & time again their knack of writing rich & enthralling music that is a joy to listen to. Of course, there's nothing startlingly original to be found here with reference points to their peers in evidence including a VNV-like feel in the chorus of "Beaten" & the APB-like sequences that open the dancefloor-friendly "Pause", which also boasts some fine vocodered vocals to boot. By & large NNB rise above such comparisons with a stack of instantly memorable songs such as "Guardian Angel" which builds from it's ambient origins into a full-on dance explosion, the brilliant "Answers" which is destined to become the band's 'anthem' & the lush closing ballad "Apart", which, despite a somewhat Billy Joel/Elton John-like piano opening soon shows it's class through a dynamic rhythmic latter section that is sure to make your heart soar, even if the ending is a bit jarring! The EBM touches of "Hunting" & the slightly heavier rhythms of "Now Or Never" do add some grit to proceedings although they never threaten to disturb the band's establised style & so won't upset the future pop lads & lasses who will be this album's core listening group so if you enjoy the more accessable end of electronic pop this is one not to be missed. -- Carl Jenkinson

A Different Drum
This is a surprising new album from Germany that stands out of the crowd, even though it's a debut release. It's a pleasant surprise just like Pulcher Femina was when I first heard that one. It has good melodies, a nice voice, hypnotic beats and synths in a futurepop fashion. It's danceable and passionate, and very enticing. I first heard NamNamBulu at the ADD Synthpop Festival in Club Detour in New York, and the DJ was very excited to come tell me that it was an instant hit in the club and that he was surprised nobody had heard of them before. I think people in the USA are about to hear a lot more from them.

Announced by all German music-magazines as THE next BIG THING in Electro, NamNamBulu plays a wide range of melodic Electro-/ Futurepop with catchy hooklines and warm non-distorted vocals. The band has already been compared to bands such as Assemblage 23, VNV Nation or Camouflage. The first DJ only single by NamNamBulu did manage to enter the German Alternative Charts (DAC) and the Dutch DUC-Charts within the first week after being sent out to the club DJs. "Memories" starts to become the first real hit for the still very young band and the band has already done a number of remixes for other bands (Lights of Euphoria, Final Selection, DavaNtage, Endanger-) and played as support act for VNV Nation, Apoptygma Berzerk, In Strict Confidence, Wolfsheim and Melotron (with whom they will be touring this fall!).

NamNamBulu is a band from Switzerland, and is composed by two members with very typical Swiss names (?): Vasi Vallis & Henrik Iversen. Vasi is responsible for composing, producing and arranging the songs of NNB. Henrik being the voice of NNB, his main responsability lays of course in singing- Apart of Yello, Swamp Terrorists and DJ Bobo, Switzerland was never really famous for electronic acts - nevertheless this band - 'discovered' by noone less than Ronan Harris (VNV Nation) - has all the ingredients to play an important role in FuturePop in the near future! Their 11-tracks debut-album `Distances' is a real KILLER album and the by far best debut-album I have heard in past 2 years! Zillo praised them as `The Swiss answer to VNV Nation' but the 11 tracks on `Distances' offer an immense variety of powerful, innovative El4ectro that are much more than a mere copy of VNV! NamNamBulu succeed to melt '80s Synthpop with the sound of bands such as the aforementioned or even Assemblage 23. Ivensens clear voice reminds partly of Depeche Mode, but also the darker moments of Deine Lakaien's Veljanov. While Track No. 2 (`Beaten') in fact reminds very much of VNV Nation, songs like `Deception' (would be a PERFECT single!) or `Hunting' convince with their unusual rhythm-foundations and the perfect and careful production work. - A Different Drum

Synthpop.net
This is the Infacted Records release of the Namnambulu album "Distances", which has recently been domestically released through Nilaihah records. I had heard some positive buzz about this band, but never heard any of their material until Dave of Ninthwave records sold me his copy of the album. This band was discovered by VNV Nation, and while there are some slight similarities in some elements of Namnam's sound, on the whole they're a lot more pop-friendly than VNV. Choruses such as those in "Beaten" and "Guardian Angel" are a lot more likely to pop up in my head and stay there as compared to "Standing" or "Firstlight". The vocalist for this project is much more melodic than VNV's, and I really like the dynamic quality to his voice. This is one of those rare albums I'll have trouble getting all the way through simply because I'll want to repeat several of the songs over and over. Highly recommended, but the US version has even more value to it... --Jason Baker for Synthpop.net

Wrapped in Wire
NamNamBulu is the European synth-pop project of Henrik Iversen and Vasi Vallis. They offer modern synth-pop songs on this recording that blend the energy of EBM with the vocals and melodies of electro pop. As soon as I heard the first track "Memories" I knew instantly that this was a quality band. They know what they're doing, and do it well. The music is upbeat and energetic with great texturing and layering of electronic programming, catchy beats and mesmerising melodies. The vocals are deep in tone and sing with a lot of emotion and range. Everything is mixed exceptionally well offering a polished sound. From the very first time I listened to this CD I was hooked. And I haven't been able to stop listening to it. Each and every song is top notch. There's not one I dislike. There's a good mix of club hits and melodic songs. And everything is placed on the CD perfectly. The album flows smoothly from start to finish. I can't really say enough good things about this CD. Everything that I like about this genre of music is done properly here. If you like synth-pop and future pop music, this CD can't be missed.-Darklight, Wrapped in Wire

Re>gen Magazine
The cover's clean lines might give you some idea of the music to be found herein and this debut from Swiss band NamNamBulu very definitely puts the 'pop' into futurepop, verging on synthpop in places. When bands choose to work in these areas, VNV Nation and Apoptygma Berzerk comparisons are pretty much par for the course. Although there are reference points to both bands here, such as the chorus of "Beaten" or the APB-like sequences that open the dance floor-friendly "Pause" (which also boasts some fine vocoded vocals!), NamNamBulu by and large manage to avoid any outright similarities. Moreover, rather than simply filling the album with dance floor killers, 'The Nams' (I thought this nickname up first!) have taken the time to write proper songs full of feeling that are perfectly suited to listening in a variety of environments, even when relaxing at home. It's not wise to relegate it to the status of Muzak, as the drama-packed, emotional music in unison with the quality of Vali Vasis' vocals - perfectly capturing its every nuance - demands your attention throughout. The aforementioned "Beaten" is one good example of this dramatic edge and the way that "Guardian Angel" builds from its ambient origins into a full-on dance explosion is another. "Answers" takes this to its logical conclusion with a totally excellent track that will have you reaching for the repeat button on your player in no time. The EBM touches of the slightly harder "Hunting" and the heavier rhythms of "Now Or Never" ad a little grit to proceedings, although they hardly break the album's stride. This is something that the band rarely go in for, preferring instead to rely on each track's rich and lush feel to bring the message home and nowhere is this more evident than the closing ballad "Apart." Although the early piano-led section seems a little too Elton John/Billy Joel-ish for comfort, the rhythmic latter half soon makes this a memorable and dynamic track fit to make your heart soar (the sudden ending is a bit jarring, though!).

This is certainly not recommended to industrial/hardcore EBM fans but for those who enjoy the softer end of electronic pop this is one not to be missed. -Carl J, Re>gen Magazine

Re>gen Magazine
EBM has a lot of its origins in synthpop, hence VNV Nation's Ronan Harris coining the term "futurepop." A lot of bands remain true to the slightly poppy side of EBM, showing their respect to the now floundering genre of synthpop. One such band is Nilaihah Records' Namnambulu with their release "Distances." Smooth vocals and harmonic synths accompany a thumping rhythm worthy of dancing. The result is music that is not too serious in its sound, but packs a lyrical punch of love and loss and the like, you know, emotional woes that trouble us all from time to time. The album starts off with "Memories," a track that is supercharged with synthesizing power. The beat is a thud-thud-thud foot stomper that will please all club goers and piss off neighbors equally. The vocals are mixed wonderfully, not just on this track but on the album as a whole, as they are in the forefront, but not so much to sound awkward and amateurish. Skipping ahead a few tracks we find ourselves submerged in the beautiful tapestry of sound called "Now or Never (distant remix)." The track moves with incredible fluidity as we are treated with a fantastic musical piece that is interspersed with an incredible chorus and poignant lyrics. Other highlights of this album are the slowed up love song "Guardian Angel (distant remix)," that pulls at the heart strings with its honesty and energy, the herky-jerky synth beat of "Surviving (distant remix)," the heavy drone loops and robotic vocals of "Pause," and "Apart," which is a slowed up piano piece. This album is EBM at its purest form, in that it straddles the line between it and synthpop. The tracks are catchy and not sweetly tooth decaying like other synthpop EBM crossover bands that fixate on cuteness and not on musical composition. It is a worthy disc to test drive and if you like it, pick it up, I hear Nilaihah is having an anniversary sale right now! So in closing, dance away to this one, as it warrants it. Um... er... I think the police are at your door, 'cause your neighbors just called them.-Pitchfork, Re>gen Magazine

DJ Aceldama
-"These guys are great synthpop/futurepop. In fact, you've probably heard at least one track with some club play. The problem is you didn't even know it."
-"Despite the touring accolades (VNV Nation, Melotron), the bottom line is that NamNamBulu is excellent but largely unknown. My first impression was that a handful of tracks were pretty good, but overall the album was middle of the road. I've listened to the disc another two times since - and come to realise there is some definite subtlety across the album as a whole that you can only experience individually and is lost when just a couple of tracks are popped into the club playlists."
-"It's gotten painful to sit through a VNV Nation or Covenant album at home, and NamNamBulu solve that problem. If you want to put something in to enjoy and yet you want consistency that doesn't come from grabbing an online playlist or compilation, NamNamBulu is what you should be listening to. Charged up but soothing, this is all good stuff. At the club you'll hear two or three tracks, but enjoying the album as a whole is easy and there are no bad tracks requiring a fast skip."
-"A definite buy."
-"Although you may want to consider this in light of how you enjoy music. This is definitely a sit down and listen or have in the background while working kind of disc. It's not a stir it up and get crazy kind of album though." -DJ Aceldama

Wetworks electrozine
It's almost unbelievable that Namnambulu have only been together for two short years, considering their album "Distances" sounds like something from seasoned veterans of the genre. Originally being discovered by VNV Nation, Namnambulu have quickly made a name for themselves with their own brand of soothing, melodic, dancefloor styled Futurepop. Touring with the amazing Melotron doesn't hurt either. All this of course is well deserved because "Distances" is such a great record. "Distances" was originally released on Infacted Records in Europe and then re-released in North America by Nilaihah Records. This US version includes a multimedia video for "Memories" and an unreleased remix for "Now or Never."

"Distances" contains so many gems it's hard to pick out individual tracks, but I'll try. "Deception" is one that stands out and has me humming along very easily. "Deception" contains all the memorable synthlines, perfectly laidout vocal hooks and infectious melodic textures that fans have grown to love about this project. Following "Deception" is the killer track "Surviving," a midpaced dancefloor track that oddly enough feels like a ballad. "Hunting" goes back to the memorable days of Depeche Mode or the soothing style of Psyche.

As I mentioned earlier, "Distances" is really void of any weak tracks and is consistently excellent throughout. If you're a fan of Futurepop, Namnambulu should not be passed up. A must buy for the genre. Excellent work.

GunHed @ Wetworks electrozine

Industrial Nation Synthpop vocals and trance techno loops combine to form this first full-length release for this band previously discovered by futurepop icons VNV Nation. Some would say a more ethereal female vocalist would make this act a basic (or straightforward) trance act; the low male vocals move the group more into synthpop territory. In many ways, that's the essence of futurepop: lighter, techno-oriented beats with cleaner male vocals than EBM or industrial. The pop element surfaces, of course, because of the lyrical content. Some of the tracks are love songs (like "Beaten", even though the love seems unrequited). Others are songs of longing (like "Guardian Angel" or "Apart"). Happy songs these aren't, and of course that melancholy will appeal to many who avoid saccharine dance tracks. The US release does have a few more goodies than the European release: five different mixes of original tracks (culled from previously released singles) and a video for "Memories". Those who are already fans will want to get this release for the bonus material. Those who haven't yet discovered this Swiss futurepop band will enjoy an introduction at a domestic price.

Brian Clarkson @ Industrial Nation

Yet Another Electro Webzine After the success of their debut CD "Distances", our Swiss electropop heroes "NamNamBulu" return bith their second official CD. This time it´s a 11 track E.P. featuring brand new tracks and club hymns such as "Forgiving" (featuring the German EBM sensation S.I.T.D), "Faces", "Game" or the first german lyric track "Zeit". Discover this masterpiece of modern electrpop, discovered by no one else then Ronan Harris of VNV Nation fame.

Yet Another Electro Webzine

back to NamNamBulu - Distances
________________________________________________________

Industrial Nation
Do you like your EBM harsh, aggressive, and nasty? Or do you prefer the mellow, atmospheric, "slow-dance" future pop stuff with a major new romantic edge to it? If you answered "yes" to the latter, then this follow-up to the 2003 debut album Distances from oddly-named Swiss duo NamNamBulu should be right your alley. Comprised of six new tracks and five remixes of already-released material, Expansion offers the kind of mid-paced dancefloor (who ‘discovered' these guys, by the way) dream up in their sleep. On "Game," for example, the twosome marry the usual melancholy synths with some distinctively Dave Gahan-sounding vocals, while on "Zeit" they try their hand for the first time at a song entirely in German. "Forgiving" features the vocal talents of Carsten Jacek of S.I.T.D. and, out of the remixes, the understated club remix of "Memories" is perhaps the most well-sculpted. It's somewhat amusing when, on the aforementioned "Game," vocalist Henrik Iverson sings, "You know you can get there as long as you play by the rules they make," given that that's exactly what NamNamBulu are doing with their music-sticking to the beaten track and hardly ever, if ever, going beyond it. That's not to say Expansion is mediocre-it's quite the opposite. If patent unoriginally and a lack of desire to look outside the box in any way doesn't get you all riled-up, this album comes highly recommended.

Daniel Lukes - Industrial Nation

The Dark Side (translated and edited)
"Faces" kicks off the EP with a strong entrance and is quite possibly the potential successor to the club hit "Memories" with it's powerful melody and beautiful refrain. With the second new track, "Games," Vasi Vallis proves once again his songwriting talents. "Zeit" is the band's first German-language song and definitely a strong dance hit. "Forgiving" features Carsten Jacek, front man of [S.I.T.D.] (known for their hits "Snuff Machinery" and "Laughinstock"), alongside Henrik Iversen for a slightly harsher engaging club track. Also included are favorite remixes of "Surviving" and "Memories" from previous out-of-print releases. --Phoenix for The Dark Side

The City Morgue
"Distances", Namnambulu's premiere full-length, is like a collection of personal synthpop journal entries. Similarities between themselves and their predecessors like Wolfsheim and Beborn Beton are quite visible, however, this duo delivers some distinguishing twists to that already established formula.
The material presented here often explores territories of forlorn recollection. "Beaten" and "Memories" are two rather pensive dance pieces that remind me of the aforementioned acts with touches of VNV Nation, without their militant undertones. "Now or Never (distant mix)" is personally my favorite; this U.S. exclusive track develops from atmospheric meditation to ascend into an emotionally and musically moving anthem. Comparisons certainly will be made between it and VNV's "Beloved", but it is still an effective work. There is also the quirk and funk of the staccato-sung "Hunting", and the thump of the brooding tale of betrayal, "Deception"; both of these also add their own unique flavor to the whole. In addition, this disc features the music video for the song, "Memories".?Namnambulu are hardly unique within their attractive sound, but "Distance" still contains enough talent and spirit to render it a decent debut disc. For fans of the current synthpop movement, this will certainly be an act to watch. -- Vladimir McNeally, The City Morgue

Synthpop.net
The Expansion EP is the follow-up to the successful album "Distances", however it's a limited edition, with only 2222 copies released worldwide. A even more limited edition was released with a accompanying T-Shirt, but that edition had the same exact tracklist otherwise.

This EP finds Namnambulu right back into the same excellent groove as before, with "Faces" kicking off the EP in excellent form. It's another dynamic and emotionally powerful song, really showcasing Namnambulu's songwriting ability. "Zeit" is of particular interest, as it's the first (that I know of) German-language song that Namnambulu has released. The track with [:SITD:] guesting in the track is very interesting, as it's a much more industrial-oriented vocal over Namnambulu's music is very unusual, and once Henrik joins in on the vocals it creates a very unusual blending of styles. It's certainly a distinctive track. Speaking of distinctive tracks, "Transcending" has Vasi not only composing the music, but the vocals as well for this track.. Henrik doesn't appear to have contributed to this song.

The remixes here are of two of the new tracks ("Faces" and "Forgiving"), and three tracks from "Distances". Of the remixes here, none of them particularly grabbed my attention other than the songs that had already really impressed me - "Memories" and "Surviving". Both these remixes were really fun. I wasn't as impressed with the remix of "Now Or Never", but it's still a very enjoyable track.

Overall, this is a very good EP. Not quite as massively impressive as the debut album, but it does show that Namnambulu has a lot more great songs to offer. Should be interesting to see where they go from here.

Jason Baker -- Synthpop.net

Release Magazine
From nowhere to moderate stardom. An easy way to describe the progression of Swiss/Danish duo NamNamBulu. Vocalist Henrik Iversen and songwriter Vasi Vallis released their debut EP "Blind?" on their own a few years back and got picked up pretty quickly by newly founded German label Infacted Recordings. A full length, "Distances", was released last year to great acclaim within the more dance oriented synthpop community.

Now, "Expansion" serves us rather bland remixes of tracks from that album, adding nothing but heavier beats and more repetition. The real treat of the album is the packet of new songs, some of which are intelligently built synthetic pop, while some seem to struggle with an unnecessary futurepop complex, pulling focus away from the initial song strength and replacing it with long instrumental club parts. Clichéd lyrics are pretty common within the genre and, sadly, "Expansion" can not be excluded. Iversen's voice is pretty powerful overall, though.
So, NamNamBulu can deliver. The question is if they choose to do so.

Niklas Forsberg @ Release Magazine

Gothtronic
It is striking to notice how fast Namnambulu managed to create a fanbase and how fast they achieved a place in the higher regions of synthpop/futurepop. Namnambulu has some released some excellent records with quality synthpop, sometimes reminding of VNV Nation. The strongest trdemark of this band is the voice of Henrik. Something that brings pure magic when the underlying song is also great. Namnambulu's Vasi has a extraordinary talent for writing good melancholic synthpop tunes. Well, this is exactly what this EP misses. Maybe Namnambulu has been too busy the last year to really be able to focuss on writing strong songs? Let's not hope there's not much more to be found with this band, because that would be way too soon and the quality they showed on Distances proved this could yet again be achieved on a future record. Expansion though, is a release ment as an expansion of the Distances album with 6 new tracks and remixes of tracks taken from Distances. It's the new tracks that do not really convince me. ‘Faces' and ‘Game' are allright, but when Henrik starts singing in German on ‘Zeit', and there are no exciting hooks in the track, it starts to get boring. The attention weakens. It almost speaks for itself that the next cool track on this release is a co-operation with the singer of SITD, not exactly known for his superb voice. Musically this track is a mix between the styles of both bands. The series of remixes go into one ear and leave the other without making any impression, as i have heard that many Namnambulu remixes lately that i have heard, the rhythms, sounds and tricks by now. It's time for some more variation boys!

TekNoir @ Gothtronic

back to NamNamBulu - Expansion
________________________________________________________