Noer the Boy pushes boundaries with 'Forlorn Hope' LP
This release is a true reflection of Noer the Boy’s ability to make absolute slammers while simultaneously showcasing his abilities in masterful sound design.
If you haven't been living under a rock for the last couple of years you would have heard of Noer the Boy by now and let me reiterate, this guy is the boy! You can find releases from him on most prestige beat labels and his sound is immortalised in style, presence and something a lot of producers (myself included) aspire to be able to deliver. This release as a whole, I found incredibly inspiring. It truly pushes the boundaries on what we can expect from himself and the beat scene as a whole - it’s released on Courteous Family. If you haven't checked it yet, please do and take some time to work through the release.
The intro track to this LP is a bubbler, the track starts off slowly building a modular bubble-like noise up and up-creating energy with tension as it does, the drums are marching with minimum hi-hats and just play on that stripped back beat music style. We then get thrown into a mix of wobbly bass noises with a high west-coast styled synth line over the top. The noise that comes in later on this track is like a dragged out granular synth, it's so grotty and makes one do a proper screw face. It fades out using granular, stretched noises and off cuts of an arp like synth to guide you into the final bit of the track. The movement of the noises replicate the movement of the bubbly synth which the track started with, but building you into a ‘Boos Castle’ style song with a great amount of emotion expressed within a few sounds.
Rule of two. The drop of this track is unexpected, I love Noer's way using minimal elements to such a devastating effect, the main synth in the first drop is reminiscent of something you would have heard in a dubstep track. The synths are quite harsh, but mixed perfectly with glitch like switch up and changes which hold one's attention without being thrown by the grittiness of it all (personally I love a raw synth noise like this and thoroughly enjoy it's application in this track)
After the first two tracks you're not sure what to expect with the next, again Noer switches the levels up and creates a proper head knocker rhythm changing from the staggered stab like style we have seen so far. The background synth is so industrial and malice it creates an element of fear but with a dope hip-hop like beat. Proper murdrum rhythm beat music. This track evolves over time with a crazy fuzzy bassline, which appears stagnant but throws high pitched note changes to keep you in check.
Distress signal, I love the use of reverb on the intro to this track, the noises which Noer has created lay in the realm of modular/granular construction and are industrial and dark. I love how he teases the drop on this track, throwing different noises and sounds in to cause confusion and intrigue for the listener. This tracks nothing short of inspiring and makes me want to just sit and smash out a couple days of granular sound design. I love the cuts and snippets used in this track. One word I would use to describe this track is ‘different’, it definitely showcases what's possible with sound design.
This LP is really building up at this point, the intro's to each of Noer's tracks are amazing and showcase his sound perfectly. I love the bubbly little synth used in this one, playing on the edge of sounding like a plucked string. The one is one for a bit of a thinking session, something that creates imagery in your head. With the synth throwing you back to your childhood as it's reminiscent of the noises used on old Nintendo games, absolutely digging this track a lot.
Jesus, I had to stop at this point and message Noah, this tune is outrageous, it's still early in the morning while I'm writing this, but I think I might wake the whole neighbourhood and crank it. This one is one that would cause some absolute damage on the dancefloor. The noises in this make you want to grind your teeth together and launch a chair (haha). How suited that it's named ‘Fighting Machine’ this is walk out music if I've ever heard it. Just got me shaking my head non stop throughout. It's heavy and ever so delicious - this track is a masterpiece, with a fuck ton of sick sound design to boot, put this one on on your next ride out/bank robbery.
Nebula is what it says on the tin, interesting, thought provoking (as if the rest of this LP wasn’t enough so) it has an innocence to it that hasn't been shown to this point, but it's by far the most emotive of the tracks, the slow build up conjures the image of flight, in out of space, an explorative narrative is invoked. The use of longer sustained notes in this add that sci-fi like effect, with it all building to a big crescendo at the end before effortlessly fading out to nothing.
Shapeshifter, is a slugger, again with the swaggy kind of hip-hop-esq drum beat. I like the application of noises in this, not what you would usually expect with a head-nodder but used so well. The song changes up quite rapidly however and throws us into a reece like bass which really grounds it in the realm of extremely well produced halftime . This is another you could drop in the set and cause some trouble on the dancefloor with. The bass towards the end of the track is a proper head banger.
The title track of the album, as we move towards the end of the LP we are hit with Forlorn Hope. I think this track really encapsulates the general vibe and sound of the LP but also showcases Noer's ability as a master beatsmith. He makes the sound which everyone wants to achieve. This track is awesome and couldn't be more fitting for the title track of the LP. The grit in the bass when it drops is outstanding and pushes beyond what you think you're going to hear. It's gruesome yet so enjoyable and so listenable. The space used in the track is so dope and used in such a great way to change the feel and attitude at different parts of the track.
This last song is the send off for the listener and starts with a very emotive sound - like a siren's call it draws you in, before throwing you into a shadow world filled with bass and distortion, this one's the slow dance you wished they played at your prom (or not). You may not all be like myself in music tastes. Everything works in perfect conjunction with each other and allows the user to engage with inner emotions and desires.
Thank you for this release Noer, it's really opened my eyes and inspired me more than anything I have heard of recently.