In 2004, the Nein headed into Pontchartrain Studios in Chapel Hill, NC with producer Jay Murphy for their first studio experience as a quartet. Taking time out of recording for their first Canadian tour, the band wrapped up their debut album Wrath of Circuits at the end of December. The results are massive.
Lyrically, much of Wrath of Circuits addresses a fear of technology. The title originates from an activity known as circuit bending: a process that entails randomly connecting different circuits together on a keyboard's or toy's circuit board, manipulating the original sound until a new one is created. "It's a pretty amazing subversion of technology," says Cohen, "but it's also kind of scary to think of one of those machines coming to life randomly" -- hence the 'Wrath of Circuits.' Cohen also recognizes inspiration for the record in the talents of the late Randy Ward, friend to the band and fellow Raleigh/Durham Triangle musician, who built a machine that mechanically played live drums while Ward improvised on circuit-bent instruments. According to Cohen, Ward "inspired a lot of people to experiment more with circuit bending, which has provided the music scene here with a lot of really cool artists."
Not a casual listening experience, Wrath of Circuits forces you to take notice of the interplay between instruments and before you know it, the combination of grin and head-nod is uncontrollable. Dissonant, creative, a danceable cacophony.