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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
-"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
-"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
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
GunHed @ Wetworks electrozine
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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