Nick Mulvey - First Mind (10th Anniversary) - Clear Vinyl
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10th anniversary reissue with extra album of singles, BBC session tracks and live material. Nick Mulvey's 2014 debut First Mind through Fiction Records. It was produced by Dan Carey (Hot Chip, Steve Mason) in Streatham. Nick Mulvey is less the master of reinvention, as he is the master of invention. Invention by its very definition being a 'unique method, composition, or process'. First Mind ticks all three boxes, and it ticks them in spades. As a founding member of sprawling, Mercury Prize nominated jazz collective, Portico Quartet, Nick played an otherworldly new instrument called The Hang, and their music still resonates today in broader circles outside of any insular jazz clique (Alt-J quoted one of Nick's Portico lyrics on their debut album). Nick though wanted a change, and one where the creative process was perhaps a more singular vision, albeit no less liberal-minded.
First Mind is an engrossing listen, and not easily defined. It encourages an open-mind (the 'First Mind' perhaps), and a sense of the worldliness that Nick poured into its making. Cucurucu is an interpretation of DH Lawrence's poem, Piano, wrapped within a heady groove. And groove, for all its modern day baggage, is at the heart of everything Nick Mulvey does. Nitrous, a song about a daydreamer selling laughing gas, positively radiates with a classic chug and groove when the bassline slinks in. There are contemplative moments too, 'Fever to the Form' and 'Meet Me'. There are poignant odes, whilst 'The Trellis' and 'Juramidam' showcase that leftfield, Eastern-inflected guitar technique. It is a record that gets under your skin, and its sense of exploration is palpable.