Nick Neutronz Goes Conceptual On His Latest Release ‘Hikikomori’
Nick Neutronz is a producer who took me a minute to frame. Digging into his discography felt sort of disorienting at first and I had a hard time getting in tune with his music. However, I was not discouraged by this challenging first approach and I continued to persevere in listening. Eventually, as I slowly got into the right vibe I managed to get a wider perspective of his kaleidoscopic sonic quest, unlocking new and different interpretations of his productions.
What struck me the most about Nick Neutronz’s music is the singular way he crystallizes a thought, an emotion, a certain mood in the form of beats and melodies. I’m not talking about the simple concept of inspiration, which is the basis of the creation of art. What I personally feel in his tracks is a more direct and less filtered, sometimes even raw, link between ideas and outcome. As if the artist had little time to transcribe his vision in musical language and has decided to cut out all the unnecessary noise and stuck with only the very essential. This “impulsiveness” however doesn’t affect the technical quality, which remains immaculate, and gives the results a distinct touch. This is not something tangible that can be connected to practical skills in the use of the DAW. It’s something atavic that I sense and experience with my gut. I’ll be honest, I don’t know if any of this really makes sense to you, but anyway I hope you enjoyed the little excursus inside my fantasies.
His latest track ‘Hikikomori’ is another great result of his creative output. The title clearly states it. The track revolves around one specific concept: hikikomori. As declared by Nick Neutronz himself at Mendo Werks magazine, “I came upon hikikomori through this Netflix tv show, Neo Yokio. That’s when I started researching it […] I found the subculture sad, but also very prophetic.” The spark that started the creation of the track seems to be triggered precisely by the realization that hikikomori is not a dystopian concept, but a very real condition that could only become more common in a future where “climate disasters increase and our digital lives usurp our physical lives, for better or worse.” The shamanic vocal sample and the tribal percussions give ‘Hikikomori’ a hallucinating and psychedelic effect. The continuous repetition of these elements sends the brain into a trance, as happens when you stare at the same point for too long or repeat the same action over and over. This obsessive repetition seems to create a bubble where we are trapped, locked up until the song slowly fades and frees us from its bonds (I suggest you to put this song in loop to amplify this sensation). From a certain point of view, it is a distressing experience, but it is also undeniable how, after several listenings, the familiarity that slowly arises with the track’s sounds begins to become more and more comfortable. Listening to ‘Hikkikomori’ turns into a moment outside of space and time where nothing else disturbs us and we enjoy our solitude. Why should we stop and go back to reality, with all its unpredictable facets? Why? Why?