Parallels is the fourth full album released under Jason Chung’s
distinctive moniker, Nosaj Thing. Masterfully dimensional, Parallels
represents the acclaimed Los Angeles-based electronic
producer/composer/performer’s most diverse, vital work yet. As
such, Chung sees Parallels represents a kind of redemptive rebirth.
The album’s compellingly elusive, uncategorizable sonics developed
out of what he terms a personal & musical “identity crisis.”
According to Chung, working with a group of collaborators on
Parallels that combined both longtime friends and new creative
partners added “new energy which pushed me not to limit myself.
Everything felt fresh and alive.” The title Parallels in fact evokes the
intense, intimate duality Nosaj Thing and his collaborators share.
Chung is known specifically for his innovative, unexpected musical
pairings: Kid Cudi hit up on Nosaj Thing via his MySpace page in
2006, resulting in Chung producing Cudi’s autobiographical classic
“The Man on the Moon.” Kendrick Lamar flowed over Nosaj’s ethereal
boom bap to create the YouTube gem “Cloud 10”; Chance the
Rapper, meanwhile, freaked a Nosaj beat for his 2013 breakout
masterpiece “Paranoia” and appeared on Nosaj Thing’s previous LP,
2015’s Fated. Chung and Blonde Redhead vocalist Kazu Makino are
also longtime creative partners on each other’s work; her voice
appears on Parallels as an otherworldly spirit animating the icily
‘80s-synthetic “How We Do.”
perhaps not so innovative, given Burial's stylistic parameters, these tracks are more like a frolic, made of fragments who are like distant relatives, getting nowhere really, but still being enjoyable in their atmospheric anticipation. This is more so in the case of Nightmarket, which fits what I like to think of as lo-fi trance, as anticipated in a superb track like ashtray wasp, although with a beatless and more orchestral approach in this case. aelena