CDG – Unconditional
Wonky yet awkwardly danceable, Unconditional features six home recorded post-punk/no-wave tracks from the Portland-based solo project
CDG, formally known as Conditioner Disco Group, is the solo project of Portland-based musician Jacyn Nickle (Collate and The Bedrooms).
In a period of time that seems flooded by artists releasing their ‘home recordings’, Unconditional feels like it couldn’t have been approached in any other way. Recorded on 8-track cassette during the summer of 2020, it combines lofi analogue warmth with icy instrumental sparsity that feels almost vulnerable at times.
The opener ‘Remove officer’ instantly locks into a bass and percussion-heavy groove with a dappling of angular guitars. The perfect foundation for some poignant and socio-politically charged lyrics that perfectly encapsulate 2020’s narrative, all within around 15 words. Less is definitely more.
‘Audiophiles’ builds upon the tight rhythmic foundations of the opener with scratchy guitars that form layers of abrasive noise, allowing the tracks to bubble and then finally descend into beautiful and chaotic noise. It’s a brilliant guitar performance that easily slips from anti-funk tightness to no-wave dissonance, filling and consuming all available space.
The wonky and danceable grooves reach brilliant heights on ‘Living Between’, with guitars and keys bouncing off the tight bassline that drives the track forward. Lyrically and vocally this track stands out, offering just enough catchiness in the melody to convey the powerful social commentary.