Ergo Phizmiz - Nose Points in Different Directions

Bruce Turnbull 15/02/2007

Rating: 3/5

A retrospective of his musical activity over the past five years, this offbeat collection encapsulates the expansive talent of one of our most challenging composers. Embodying the term 'one man movement' Ergo Phizmiz has created work in the form of digital art and live performance for a myriad of prestigious events, including submitting pieces for The Tate Modern and The Dutch Academy of Fine Art. “Nose Points in Different Directions” is the result of all those years of breaking the barriers, and in that respect, is a rather ominous pill to swallow. Unnerving, thought provoking and inspiring, to digest what Ergo has accomplished you need to sharpen your senses and prepare for mental stimulation.

Painting ethic folk upon a canvas of sprawling electronica, claustrophobic opener “Pangolin” draws you in like a gaping abyss, rattling your mind against the walls of unbridled illustration. Shifting from haunting vocal passages to progressive time signatures, the texture of the track itself is so dense you could sit with it for weeks and still peal back the layers. The earliest piece on the album, “SymphonieVum” is a stream of harmony vocals, with waves of blistering percussion liberating them from their normality. The pure appreciation for Ergo's musical imagery is commendable enough, but the fact that he continues to cross-pollinate with as many genres as possible enhances the experience further. Truly, this is the sound of a man experimenting, and while there are no boundaries in artistic expression, a lot of his material is so outlandish it's frankly migraine inducing.

Conceptually vast, “Nose Points in Different Directions” positively bleeds atmosphere. There is no doubt in denying its grandeur. But perhaps like that Oscar winning short, this is simply too pretentious to garner mainstream recognition. The road ahead is long and hard, but what will be waiting for Ergo at the end is as unpredictable as the music that will get him there.