Tabs Out | Nmesh – Pharma

Nmesh – Pharma
9.26.17 by Ryan Masteller


“There’s so much you don’t understand.”

I could start with the sheer size of “Pharma,” a double-cassette release, but that’s a false conversation, because just look at the sheer volume of releases, in particular this one, and you’ll get that this isn’t out of the ordinary. So let’s move right on.

“Pharma” warps reality, spiraling perception skyward like the scattered portals leading to wherever it is the unearthly spirits dwell in Twin Peaks: The Return (just past episode sixteen as I write this, so fair warning for spoilers), like the Woodsmen and Phillip Jeffries. It’s a strain on the equilibrium, a constantly shifting atmospheric disturbance that’s so dense and so fully unknowable that it becomes almost a monolith, an overwhelming presence that holds you there in its attention and only allows you to resume your life after its forty-two tracks come to completion. Yeah I said forty-two. That’s why this is on two cassettes. Weren’t you listening?

Nmesh is a plunderphonic genius, pulling samples from films, television, commercials, radio, I dunno, law enforcement CB channels maybe? This dude, as has become abundantly clear from his work through the years (feels like centuries), is at the pinnacle of the electronic game, a peak formed from many sides coming together to form a mountain of insanity, the (electronic) American Hindu Kush. The idea of “Pharma” is representative of the narcotic substances you’ll need to make it through (OK, maybe not really), as only the hardest vapors or trickiest pills will do the trick, simultaneously enhancing your engagement and protecting you against it. Reality again turns on a dime, further muddying perception until where you started might be the least real point in this whole endeavor. And isn’t that the scary part?

But where I started was “NΞ1✪NΞ1,” and you can watch the video and get an idea of the hallucinatory elements contained herein. Is that some kind of alternate reality pop hit? It only serves as a cautionary tale, as freeing your mind is not a prerequisite for the rest of the album. No, “Pharma” is going to get all up in your brain pan and scrub that sucker clean, imprinting itself upon your personality as KILLER BOB did to Dale Cooper in the season 2 finale. (Something like that.) Following this, Nmesh slings whatever comes into his mind, or whatever he finds in his digital archives, all over the canvas, mixing bangers on LSD with bangers on Sparkle and filtering it all through a half-club/half-psychedelic horror film wringer. He even lets you breathe every once in a while with an ambient passage. But he’ll never give you much of a break when it comes down to it.

I stare at “Pharma” before me and I am daunted. I press play and wait for my life to change. It does.

Oh man, and there’s a track called “White Lodge Simulation” too. It’s like Nmesh is watching me from somewhere. I am currently paranoid. Good thing I have the Bookhouse Boys on speed dial.

This tape will take you places – I’m just not quite sure where yet. And, sadly, it sold out within hours of its release. But I’ve heard through the grapevine, and please do not take my word for it, that a second edition is in the works at Orange Milk HQ. Keep your ear to the grindstone.

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