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Nils Bech
Look Inside
CD on Fyisk Format
Cat No: FFORMAT066 , Stk Ref 79749

Released on: 01 February 2013

Magazine Review
Listening to ‘Look Back' is a pretty diverse experience.

It starts out incredibly mellow, verging on the melancholic, with Nils Bech's Scandinavian-flavoured take on love, loss and jealousy. As the album, however, moves on, he finds something else, something euphoric and uplifting. Or maybe its just the extended use of the synthesiser range that has cheered him up.

As the title ‘Look Back’ suggests, this is very much an exercise in self-reflection, and the album was written in this manner as the idea of being a one man journey. Bech hails from Norway and dabbles in both music and performance art, and is at the forefront of this in his home country.

To complete the album and let it really take life Bech enlisted help from various sources including electronic producers Ost & Kjex and modern classical composers Ole Henrik Moe and Julian Sar. This was a brave move, but for anyone who has listened to a lot of Norwegian music will know Norway haa a constantly thriving and incredibly open-minded scene, especially when it comes to experimental music. Bech by his choice of collaborators has clearly intended 'Look Back' to be eclectic, although to be honest I found it more progressive and leaning quite far towards electronica.

‘Tie Me Up (First Contact)’ is bleak and quite minimalistic. You can feel the far reaches of the Northern cold in Bech’s words and delivery. The first few tracks after this continue this bleak feel, and you find yourself wondering if it will be like this the whole way through. ‘A Sudden Sickness’ only adds to this, and about this halfway point you begin to feel his life ain’t gonna get much better as Bech outpour shis insecurity about the old green eyed monster.

It is, however, from this point on where the album picks up pace. ‘Pass Pass Me By (Formative yYears)’ gives you the spark to the end of the tunnel, and the more upbeat and lively nature of the music helps this along well. You feel more drawn into this lustful character of the album that is unfolding.

The furtherest extremities of this album – the most laid back and minimal tracks early on and the latter ‘I Say This Twice (A New Meeting)’ - reminded me of ‘Volta’-era Bjork, particularly the tracks featuring Anthony Hegarty, to whom Nils Bech doesn’t sound completely dissimilar to.

'Look Back' concludes with some true bliss in the form of the title track, and you feel good that the hero of the piece has seen his troubles through to a happy end, as everyone loves a happy ending, don’t they?

Adrian Huggins


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