Evocative eastern violin meets ethereal sub-textures, exploring the melodic aspects of dubstep and cinematic IDM. Nyxyss is the creative collaboration between violinist/composer Hannah Thiem (Copal/Halytha Music) and producer/DJ Haj Ji (Sub Swara/Hobo Kings).
Memories Of Dystopia, the initial offering from NY/SF-based Nyxyss (nix-iss), is set as a series of aural vignettes. The duo’s noir soundtrack paints sonic postcards that are lush, haunting, and full of dramatic tension. Using layered synthesis and sound design elements mixed with romantic instruments recorded live (violin, viola, cello, piano, French horn), the songs on their debut release set a mood and catch an inner sense of a place. What Nyxyss creates together is a distinctly memorable sound filled with pathos and nostalgia for a world lost, remembered and re-imagined.
Sometimes dark, always beautiful, with “Memories Of Dystopia”, Nyxyss gives us something to think about. An inspired opening statement and fresh voice from this Cinematic IDM crew, whetting the appetite for more to come. Sounds like Arvo Pärt meets The xx.
Nyxyss is a talented and highly unique instrumental duo comprising violinist/composer Hannah Thiem and producer Haj Ji. So infrequently do we find musicians producing music solely for the purpose of creation. Nyxyss’ efforts are very obviously genuine, as the pair play a carefully executed style of classically inspired electronic music with extreme attention to production detail. Cerebral and without gimmick, the music seems to only faintly acknowledge popular music at all.
“The central statements of this piece were inspired by my love of Nordic melodies,” Hannah says of the lengthy single that’s today’s free MP3. “It is a dream of mine to return to Iceland and Norway and study their beautiful folk music.”
While Nyxyss prefer a lyric-less approach, their politics are still a focal point of their art. Touching on the Julian Assange reference in the title, DJ Haj explains, “We stand with Mr. Assange on a human level for the personal risks he has taken in exposing criminal collusion on the largest scale. Iceland has shown great vision and emerged as a strong independent voice for journalists facing politically motivated censorship and repression. It is a model we hope other countries would follow.”
- Andrew Poitras (Diffuser.fm)