It’s been over three years since Nosaj Thing (real name: Jason Chung) released his stunning debut Drift. In that part of Nosaj’s career it was easy to pin him running with the LA beat scene crew, heavily rooted in hip-hop while starting to take inspiration from weirder electronic places. His productions, though eclectic, still resembled something that someone could actually rap over. The forward momentum of tracks like “Lights #1” and “Lights#2” outnumbered the wandering of “2222” moments.
Home, the long-awaited sophomore album, finds Nosaj exploring new song structures and sounds in a markedly more introspective tone. Looking at this LP in comparison to its predecessor, the warm synth work is replaced by an icier sound pallet. “Glue” plods into dark territory unlike anything he’s ever done before while the direct links too hip-hop are separated even further in exchange for often Burial-esque patterns on cuts like “Tell” and “Safe”.
Drift was an album that was immediately rewarding. Less than three minutes into that record your head was nodding more than almost anything on his new record will do. The closest connection on Home, in name and execution, is “Lights#3”, closing the record out with neck-snapping percussion and a beautiful, full-bodied atmosphere. That’s not to say new territory for Nosaj can’t be equally intriguing. “Try” featuring vocals form Toro y Moi and “Eclipse/Blue” with Kazu Makino show Nosaj as skilled with a performer as he was with any sampling in his past.
If Drift is the arrival of a breakout producer then Home is the introspective follow-up. With a quick glance of the record it’s easy to let it pass over you; it doesn’t demand attention so much as casually pass by. What it lacks in immediate satisfaction it makes up for in detail and emotional depth. In less than 40 minutes we hear the sounds of how Nosaj Thing has developed as a producer, but it’s ultimately just a more detailed picture than ever of where Jason Chung as been as a person.