By Noah Cohn
© 2008 Noah Cohn
There is no such thing as chance; and what seems to us the merest accident springs from the deepest source of destiny.
Though he’s only 28, Noah Cohn has already proven himself as a mature and sophisticated musician, and his latest work, No Accidents, pops, buzzes, and sparkles with inspiring, up-beat electronic dance tracks. With diverse and dissimilar influences, ranging from contemporary euro-pop to 1960’s psychedelic rock, Cohn defies the boundaries of any given genre. His proprietary blend of eclectic influences work together beautifully in this, his fourth full album, and in general, No Accidents is more consistently pleasing and danceable than some of his earlier work. No Accidents is sure to satisfy any fan of experimental electronic music, from acid house to drum and bass, and is sure to send any true Kraftwerk fan into fits of digitally induced euphoria.
Cohn’s no newcomer to the techno scene, in fact, he’s been composing, performing, and recording for over a decade—and it shows. Both his musical skills and his equipment have developed since he first began experimenting with the Swedish made program “Rebirth-338” in 1998, and No Accidents is the culmination of diligent effort, hard-won musical skill, and technical know-how.
Cohn’s come a long way since the release of his first album, Go With Love, in 2004, and his growth is audible in the variety, depth, and complexity of the tracks on No Accidents—from the dark, driving, desperate sounds of “It’s an Old Game,” to the joyful laid-back harmonies of “Tunnel to Canada.” Intricate rhythms and pleasant melodies abound on this album, and so much is going on in every single track that listeners are sure to hear something new on each consecutive playing.
Uncompromisingly experimental and unflinchingly inventive throughout, No Accidents is by no means a pop album, but this is not to say that it is without popular appeal. The title track is catchy from, beginning to end, and even wildly experimental pieces such as “Cuts the Darkness” and “Euclidean Space” are highly accessible. For those who can’t do without vocals, “Stacy’s Birthday” is a surefire hit, recalling the sounds of early techno bands such as Depeche Mode and New Order, Cohn proves with this track that no instrument is out of place in his music, including the human voice. Cohn’s vocals have a unique and eerie quality, and because he blended several vocal tracks together a la The Beatles, they have a depth that blends impeccably with the layered techno-instrumentals. The same can be said of the bass track by Forest Lane on “Jelly Jam,” which also happens to be the only track on the album that features a guest artist.
At times it’s hard to believe that this album was composed, performed, and recorded by a single artist, but some people are just that talented, and Cohn’s one of them. His talent and expertise in every facet of music creation and production are enviable. The road ahead is sure to be filled with both artistic and commercial success for this talented young and upcoming artist.
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