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NORD (Sweden) – A Military Option (single/track from forthcoming album)

NORD, or NORD Orchestra as they are also known, paid us a visit only a couple of months ago. I described them as “serious, deep thinkers, perhaps academics…there’s something of Kraftwerk about them.”

That song, which was one of NMC’s ‘Songs of 2022’, was a reflection on the past year. On this occasion they release what is their first song, ‘A military option?‘ from the forthcoming project ‘Guerrilla’ The music is based on an interview with American rapper and hip hop experimentalist Barrington DeVaughn Hendricks, known professionally as JPEGMafia, and who is a US forces veteran who served in Iraq.

The song is about “how the US military recruits poor people”, which probably sums up JPEGMafia’s position quite well.

The interview forms the backdrop to the song and early impressions have it that it could all too easily channel Paul Hardcastle’s ‘Nineteen’.

It doesn’t, partly because it is a genuine interview, with some telling sound bites such as, “They target and approach poor people”, “This seemed like a viable option; it was either this or wither away in the Projects”, and “a viable option… to someone who has none,” as well as a story about being required to take an intelligence test for a second time, despite having scored 100/100 first time around.

Powerful words but unfortunately there are some lines which are indecipherable and repetition of certain phases in the Hardcastle mould which can be a little irritating.

But any negativity there is more than made up by some moody yet stirring music courtesy of piano, synthesiser and drums which would suit the soundtrack of ‘Apocalypse Now’, ‘Full Metal Jacket’, ‘The Deer Hunter’ or ‘The Hurt Locker’ perfectly.

A convincing piece of work, and one that Uncle Sam isn’t likely to be using in its G.I. recruitment campaigns any time soon.

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