“nnnj – monkey straddle”
nnnj brings his debut CD to the Agriculture. These tracks are soft and warm downtempo ballads, which dodge the well-known genres while winking at them. Dub, drum & bass, trip hop, and post-idm programming can all be seen as influences here, but nnnj’s soul breaks free and gives these tracks a life of their own. He uses melody and bass in a unique way, giving the gritty rugged rhythms a beautiful, uplifting jolt. The production has a large dynamic range, combining an intricate comprehension of composition and arrangement with an easy going attitude.
Plumsource.org, May 2006
My personal ‘Album of the Week’ is Monkey-Straddle by an artist called nnnj (pronounced ‘inch’). This album has a gorgeous, warm feel about it, with a touch of summer. The music, a selection of beautiful cruisy tunes, has a dubby/trip hop/soul/downtempo flavour. With the weather warming up in Cairns now, this album is a perfect start to the summer season. I highly recommend this album!! -Jen Teo.
Gutterbreakz.com Music Blog, Sept. 2005
First up, the latest CD from The Agriculture label. “Monkey Straddle” is the debut album from a Brooklyn-based artist called nnnj (pronounced “inch”) and it’s been my top chill-out CD during the holidays. Waaay mellower than the sort of thing I usually listen to, but very agreeable on a warm summer’s evening with a few cans of Red Stripe and a bit of herb (or in my case 20 Lambert & Butler – I’ve been off the silly stuff for ages, apart from when Pinch offered me a hit on his spliff recently. It would’ve been rude to refuse. Good gear too – I only had a couple of puffs but I was sailing!!) . nnnj’s vibe is warm, watery soft-focus dubby electronica, drenched in atmosphere but with some pretty groovy downtempo beats keeping the head-nodding facture at a high. This is my idea of a good easy-listening record, apart from those spooky intro bits where it gets a bit dark ‘n’ droney. Immaculately produced, tastefully arranged, ‘roof music’ at it’s finest.
3hive.com, Sept. 2005
Lately, while certain technological gadgets of mine randomly play my music collection for me, I’ve heard unfamiliar, electronic, yet warm compositions capable of producing pleasant states of relaxation and reverie. It’s occured several times. Each time, as I’ve awakened from this other world in which I’ve found myself, I glance down at the guilty party, and it’s been Nnnj. Nnnj (pronounced “inch”) relies on many sounds: global rhythms, glitchy programming, and trip-hop, but is beholden to none.
Fatplanet.com.au, Sept. 2005
there’s no defining the sound of nnnj, familiar yet collectively untraceable. listen to ‘goop scoop’ for example, dub-driven downtempo funk at its core, yet layered with a vocal (eastern or asian?) that sits outside of those genres. ‘demeter’s pupil’ opens with an eastern strings and devotional chants, anchored with a rolling hip hop beat. like much of agriculture’s output, this is world music for people who don’t like world music.
Textura.org, August 2005
‘Gotta keep it flowing’ a voice repeatedly intones in “Close the Loop,” a phrase that generally encapsulates the presiding spirit of Monkey Straddle, the 46-minute debut disc by nnnj (generally pronounced ‘inch’). The album’s an exotic polyglot stew that straddles multiples genres though its groove emphasis and general sensibility aligns it closest to dub. Bolstered by rich percussion textures (shakers, blocks, congas, tablas) and deep, propulsive bass lines, nnnj’s ‘world’ music touches down in Arabia, Jamaica, Asia, and the US; though a song title like “Fiji Geesus” suggests its pan-global purview, it’s the cut’s lovely African wooden flute call (whose keening warble resembles a bird cry) that conveys its geographical breadth. Elsewhere, vocal interjections give the warm mix of soul, dub, and hip-hop in “Goop Scoop” a Middle Eastern flavour, African chants and Indian tablas animate “Demeter’s Pupil,” and flute and exotic percussion transport “1205‹–›180a” to Eastern climes. Boosted by the taste of ‘70s soul that emerges in its funky guitar figure, the best piece might be the bumping “Close the Loop” though the atmospheric electro dub-funk of the title song impresses too. Ultimately, the set’s twelve outings are more atmospheric grooves than songs, yet what sparkling, textured grooves they are; though “Überamkin,” for example, might amount to little more than buoyant soul-dub rhythms, it’s ravishing nonetheless.
for Electroid, fall 2005 edition
Not your average chillout or downtempo drum & bass. Released by the Agriculture out of Brooklyn, NY, it has the eccentricity of NYC written all over it. nnnj (pronounced “inch”) mixes dub, drum & bass, trip hop, and all kinds of ambient samples and sound effects into a smooth set of glistening mind funk. One thing can be said, without a doubt nnnj is a unique artist in the realm of ambience, his music strangely uplifting and detaching at the same time, but overall, arranged like a true master of composition. Supposidly this disc was left on the Agriculture doorstep with just a note, but those rumors cannot be verified. Perfect for the party chillout, or a country drive after a big spliff.