[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
A lot can happen in a couple decades, systems of government can collapse, the world may be revolutionized by technology and in the case of Node: you’ll finally get another album. Because while their day jobs may have kept them busy, those who make up this collective have maintained a steady course into fascinating dimensions of sound. If -and this is a big if- you have not heard their debut then what is on here won’t be easy to digest. The long, rolling sequences course over these skeletal arrangements like loose tendons drifting in fluid ever further from the anchoring bone. Is that oxygen filling the lungs or has something else transformed the atmosphere into an alien substance, breathe it in and become one with this marvel of technological achievement.
Even though this is not precisely the same line-up as before, you’re not going to be disappointed by the results; I guarantee satisfaction to those who have waited patiently for this. When those who operate behind the scenes are put out front, what they create bears no resemblance to their track records working for others. It is remarkable to see the names involved in this and know that despite all the popular acclaim and units moved, this is where they choose to truly flex their creative muscles. No thought is given to charts, marketing, focus groups or the odious whims of entertainment lawyers. Here in this place, Node display their prowess quite thoroughly. I’ve seen this described as ‘Berlin school’ electronics and while the roots run from this, what Node compose could not have been done by the architects of this style.
The machinery simply was not in place.
I see footage of these four peering out from their computer screens and begin to understand why they’re doing this sort of work: the morass of pop music has a strong pull on the collective minds of the Earthlings. Everybody loves a jingle, right? Give us another three minute masterpiece comprised mainly of two or three vocal lines… nauseating. Just because the people want it doesn’t mean it’s wise to oblige. I hear a lot of clamoring from those outside the mainstream wishing they could join in the party, as though giving up their own identity in order to fit in is the answer. Oh sure, that’ll fill the void.
Dave Bessell, Mark Ellis, Ed Buller and Mel Wesson did this in secret. Far from prying eyes and lecherous ears, Node quietly pulled together the disparate elements required for their second outing. When you play this, you’re going to feel the skill and dedication to one’s craft contained within ‘Node 2’ effortlessly. So often people bandy about the term ‘next level’ for whatever group have the album of the hour. This operates on a higher plane, the lens is much wider and the view becomes spectacular as one progresses. Easy to get lost in this one… it was about time.