TRASH INC: ULTRAMIND (Incognito, 2009)
Ultramind is the first full-length release from former rock drummer-turned electronic composer Nabil Saliba, aka Trash Inc. The album is a highly entertaining collection of modern dance-floor electronic sounds, spiced with vintage, funky keyboard riffs.
The inspiration for the album’s sound came to Saliba during the summer of 2008, as he played on stage on several occasions alongside Jawad Nawfal’s electronic combo Munma; the track ‘Ultramind’ was a live favorite of theirs, and Nabil chose to expand on the basic structure of that track. While ‘Ultramind’ took on a life of its own, other random Trash Inc. tunes were developed as well, and their structure modified in order to accommodate this initial track.
The end result holds surprisingly well, and does justice to Saliba’s wide range of influences: references to the 80s abound, with a strong nod towards jazz maestro Herbie Hancock’s early electric-funk experiments. More modern strands tend toward the minimal sounds of composers Gui Boratto and Sascha Funke, and the distorted rhythms of the Rephlex label. The overall feel of the music is one of space and futuristic science fiction, with a distinct ear for melodic soundscapes, reminiscent of Radioactive Man’s recent output.
Last but not least, the album’s sleeve holds a story of its own: Saliba came upon an article in a science magazine, showcasing the virtues of “Graphene”, an atomic structure with interesting electronic properties. The shape of this 3D modeled structure enchanted him so, that he wrote to the physicist in question and was allowed to use it for Ultramind’s cover art. A new threshold for science-based electronic music?