I didn't vote in this because I don't feel like I've spent enough time with the album - it seems to be basically unavailable except on like youtube - but it's remarkably forward looking/thinking. It's up there with the Carlton album in the "great lost UK soul/dance albums of the early 90s" department.
Lamb in particular must have heard this album (even if all their actual sample plagiarism was from jungle tunes). But, like, it also weirdly quasi-predicts Laika in some ways?
I bought Let No One Live... when it came out but lost it at some point in the late 90s, and it's similarly impossible to find.
I do find it fascinating how both albums (based on my recollection of the second) feel similarly sonically perverse: Shut Up & Dance and Plaid superficially don't seem like equivalent production partner choices, but in both cases the choice allowed her to sort of situate her music orthogonally to whatever you might have expected of an artist in her position at that point of time: it would make sense for Now Is Early to sound a bit like Neneh Cherry's Homebrew or maybe Shara Nelson's What Silence Knows or Caron Wheeler's Beach of the War Goddess, but it's defiantly it's own thing even leaving aside Nicolette's more jazz-inflected phrasing. And, similarly, Let No One Live (IIRC) could have sounded like Protection or early Morcheeba (who probably listened to Now Is Early), but instead committed itself to exploring the sonic territory in the leftfield of the space opened up by Bjork's Post.
I expect she also heard in Plaid their hardcore tendencies (hence including "Angry Dolphin" on her DJ Kicks set - it even sounds a bit like the SUAD tune "Bastards" which she also includes).
― Tim F, Thursday, 11 August 2022 10:02 (three months ago) link
this still sends shivers all over.john tejadas bleeps and nicolettes vocals are a perfect match.really wish they had made a full length release as opposed to just this one-off.
― mark e, Thursday, 11 August 2022 10:22 (three months ago) link
oh, and her dj kicks 2cd mix is insanely good as well.
Yes! this is ridiculously great. She seemed to be equally enthused about (e.g.) Alec Empire and Mike Flowers. I have infinite time for the lush tastefulness of both Shara Nelson solo albums but Nicolette very much does not sit in this lineage - Let No One Live is scribbly in parts and really goth in others. She and Leila Arab were closely aligned pals in the late 90s, I vaguely recall.
Now is Early did get reissued in late 97, long since deleted but the CD is Out There. It's nimble and compact and perfect really.
Life Loves Us is chaos. I love it but it does feel like it's more of a 2022 record than a 2005 one (approx 60% interludes, gorgeous stream-of-consciousness sprawl). Left to own devices, she seems to gravitate towards 'fidget' rather than 'plod' or 'swoon'. Laika is a great reference point; it's sometimes a bit rattly and you can kind of see all the joins but only because they're unselfconscious about chucking pretty much anything into the mix.
― technopolis, Thursday, 11 August 2022 16:19 (three months ago) link
Much - or all - otm in this thread but I esp like this from Tim F
it would make sense for Now Is Early to sound a bit like Neneh Cherry's Homebrew or maybe Shara Nelson's What Silence Knows or Caron Wheeler's Beach of the War Goddess, but it's defiantly it's own thing even leaving aside Nicolette's more jazz-inflected phrasing. And, similarly, Let No One Live (IIRC) could have sounded like Protection or early Morcheeba (who probably listened to Now Is Early), but instead committed itself to exploring the sonic territory in the leftfield of the space opened up by Bjork's Post.
I expected Let No One Live on first listen to align much more firmly to up-to-the-minute drum and bass itself given what she and SUAD were doing in 92 but no she was off on the peripherals once again making a strange album that probably fits better into a lineage of music that has come since.
― you can see me from westbury white horse, Friday, 12 August 2022 18:21 (three months ago) link
wow wow wow wow wow @ let no-one live rent free in your head
― flamenco drop (BradNelson), Sunday, 4 September 2022 12:48 (three months ago) link
Nervous/Flowers Gone/No Govt (Plaid Remix)/Nightmare is a particularly astonishing run of tracks
― you can see me from westbury white horse, Monday, 5 September 2022 16:00 (three months ago) link
I went looking for my CD of this album when this poll ran, and the realisation slowly dawned that I never actually picked up a copy because I was always waiting for a cheapo copy of the 2CD version. Today a copy of the 2CD turned up in the charity shop near work for £2. That’s not a dramatic bargain or anything but I was pleased to pick a copy up and bloody hell it’s good.
― Tim, Monday, 7 November 2022 23:13 (one month ago) link
(I mean LNLRFIYH, rather than NIE, in case that wasn’t obvious, funnily enough I have Now is Early on LP and CD, what a clown)
― Tim, Monday, 7 November 2022 23:15 (one month ago) link