Vaporwave meets the Weather Channel on this excellent jazz fusion-inspired LP.
Noise and metal surface most clearly in Fire-Toolz, the project that helped introduce Marcloid and her dazzling musical ability to the wider world, setting her apart from a vaporwave scene built largely around sampling. Skinless X-1, Marcloid's 2018 album as Fire-Toolz, was a breathless run through new age and vaporwave streaked with black metal screeches, along with tricky tempo changes and snaky, sinuous melodies. Now Marcloid returns to the American label Hausu Mountain with a new alias, Nonlocal Forecast, which applies her hyperactive approach to an ultra-proggy style of jazz fusion.
As the name implies, Nonlocal Forecast's music sounds like something you'd hear on the Weather Channel—bright and cheery, with jazzy chords rendered in soft MIDI tones—but played by musicians like Jaco Pastorius or Rick Wakeman. Her debut album under the alias, Bubble Universe!, is also dizzyingly fast and restless. Take the upbeat "Planck Lengths," which feels like five tracks crowded into one. On "Cloud-Hidden," complex, feel-good melodies are framed by splashy drum fills—what might have been relaxing instead makes your pulse quicken. The same is true of the downtempo "Classical Information." Marcloid takes any chance she can to fill her tracks with extra notes or musical ideas.
The moments of calm on Bubble Universe! are disarming in a different way. On "Foam, Vacuum, Om," the placid qualities of Nonlocal Forecast come to the fore. "The Direct Path" is even better. The instrumentation is patient and tender, topped up with a fluid but restrained guitar solo. Running through all this is Marcloid's musicianship. With spidery guitar lines, dextrous bass runs and precise drumming, she's like a one-woman Steely Dan. Far from being a retread of elevator music and new age tropes, Nonlocal Forecast is a well-defined musical persona. It's so vibrant and colourful that it can make everything else around it feel drab.
Wed / 13 Mar 2019
01. Celestial Nervous System
02. Planck Lengths
04. The Direct Path
05. Triangular Format feat. Fire-Toolz
06. The Evolutionary Game
07. Classical Information
08. Foam, Vacuum, Om
09. Conscious Agent Combos
10. Wave Nature