Nico Niquo’s ‘Esperanto’ sees the Australian artist return to Orange Milk Records six years since his album ‘In A Silent Way’, and on this new release, Nico builds upon the framework of his last two records for the label: still, ghostly Grime, retro-futurist synthesizer arpeggios, and flourishes of New Age ambiance.
As per Ryuichi Sakamoto’s ‘Esperanto’, Nico’s own ‘Esperanto’ bears palpable influences from the incidental music and audio that surround us in the everyday, and attempts to bend them into something both tender and bizarre. ‘Epistrophy’ twists a sandbox baroque of jingles, alerts and notifications into a whirring cacophony of bells, synths and faux bird calls, whereas ‘My Home In The Storm’ takes the ‘Gliding Square’ synths of early Grime instrumentals and abstracts them into a serene rumination more akin to the earlier works of Arvo Pärt.
Across the record, tracks like ’Paper Peony’ and ‘Blue Ecco’ draw disparate, unusual threads together into patterns that don’t spell out something specific, but more so gesture towards something ineffable. Emile Frankel, writing for Disclaimer, posed that Nico’s music is ‘a grimoire to stillness, work that can make you feel both remote and motionless, and its companioned reverse: helium-ballooned, rising, incredible loveliness, dear and held …’ and it is the quiet, patient pursuit of these sentiments via Nico’s unusual means that typifies this record, too.