The UK artist is distilled to an essence on what may be his best album yet.
The record is less about sparkle and more about grit and elbow grease, with heaving drums and rough textures that come from worn tape and old hardware. From the opening track, "Cry Me A Blizzard," you'll notice the drums hit with a satisfying thunk, punching holes in Fake's fluffy clouds of synth. "Torch Song" grows into a UK garage jam with frilly keyboard runs. "Tbilisi" has the kind of lead-footed kick you'd expect to hear ringing through Bassiani. The drum programming is creative, and refigures the way you might approach Fake's music: where once the synth work was the focal point, here your mind tends to follow the sputtering percussion.
"Stepping Stone" is a relentlessly upbeat track with knotty melodies that are constantly wrung through high- and low-pass filters—you can almost feel Fake's fingers on the knobs as he works up a sweat in his studio improvising tracks like these. There's beauty in the bitcrushed twilight of "North Brink," one of the tracks that sounds like Nathan Fake's older material.
Blizzards has almost no breaks or meanders, just relentless club music adorned with beautiful melodies. In taking stock of his music and returning to his fundamentals, Blizzards highlights everything Fake is good at: the way his drums tend to dance in between established genres, melodies that sound like a warped Boards Of Canada record, the constant push-and-pull of dark and light. It's more of a reset than a reinvention, a return to the earnest simplicity that made him a wunderkind all those years ago.