Nathan Solo is a musician and graphic designer hailing from Prague’s warehouse techno scene, with musical roots stretching back as far as 2013 to the legendary Polygon events. With a hand in the graphic design of lauded XYZ and Onyx events. Based in Lausanne, Switzerland, Solo works as a graphic designer while pursuing his various musical avenues.
After a smattering of releases through the esteemed XYZ and Polygon imprints from Prague and a recent spate of self-released works through his artist Bandcamp page throughout 2020, Solo now presents ‘Ministry of Anxiety’, an album marking the culmination and final project of his Bachelor of Arts degree at Prague’s UMPRUM Arts University.
Borne from his extensive experience as a live hardware performer, ‘Ministry of Anxiety’ stands as Solo’s most complete artistic work to date. Typically characterized by striking a form of conversation with his mechanical instrument companions, over the years Solo has honed an evolving and non-linear dialogue that sees a reshaping of sound, denoting a certain creative flair somewhat scarce in the world of hardware live sets.
This much translates directly into all aspects of ‘Ministry of Anxiety’: in the shifting focus of genre from floor techno to washes of ambient, and in the detail and instrumentation of the music itself, his acceptance of trial and potential failure grants consistent results of success, thus giving his music an inherently human quality — a trait echoed in the title, which betrays an honest fragility relating to his experience living as an economic migrant in Switzerland, dealing with the throes of modern anxiety in the grips of hypercapitalism.
‘Ministry of Anxiety’ succeeds in a greater capacity than a mere transcription of Solo’s sonic explorations and thought patterns, though. Merging his twin loves of music and graphic design, the album is twinned with a visual counterpart that completes the picture: a hand-crafted typeface formed of a dot-matrix-style font that deforms and contorts into new shapes and structures in time with key sonic landmarks of the music. Presented in a continuous live stream at www.nathansolo.com, the development of these videos is as significant to the album as the music.
This innovation from Solo marks the completion of his continuous dialogue with his machines. Blunt facts about the tracks (BPM, key, running time) are presented in the typeface and twist themselves to the developing music, creating an ever-changing relay of information from Solo to his instruments, and onto the visual display, in a coherent language colliding at the juncture of binary and analog.