Alone – “Unyou” Cassette (2016)

Alone is Serb electro-wizard Nikola Vitković.  He’s performed under a variety of names over the last three decades or so, but Alone appears to be the most prolific.  As near as I can tell Unyou is his most recent effort, a cassette-only release on Chondritic Sound in a limited edition of 100.


Unyou is some trippy stuff.  According to Nikola’s website, with the exception of some drum patterning on “Prison Built of You” there are no studio tricks here – it’s all basically recorded live with his hands on the synths and pushing the buttons to make it all happen.  Musically it’s a combination of dark and spacey.  The songs have flow and structure to them, a liquid mercury kind of consistency, something that is both liquid and solid at the same time, but really neither.  The vocals, which I believe are in both Serbian and English, have an exaggerated haunting quality to them, feeling theatrical like the way a person might sing on stage in a musical or an opera as opposed to more typical album-oriented vocal approach.  I initially took this to be a bit of camp, but the more I listen I get the sense that it’s both very intentional and very sincere.

“X-Ray of Dorian Gray” is the densest track on Unyou, the synths taking on a stabbing quality and bringing sharp edges to the song that aren’t found elsewhere.  The vocals are brought to the forefront (and in English on this one) and carry a moaning quality to them.  Whereas much of Unyou takes on a dark ambient feel, your brain won’t allow “X-Ray of Dorian Gray” to fade off into the background.  Something deep inside at an unconscious level forcibly pulls your attention toward what is coming out of your speakers.

The album is available for streaming at the Chondritic Sound Bandcamp page HERE, and it appears that at the time of this post they still had a few copies of the cassette available for sale as well.  Note the cassettes are hand-painted and stenciled, and my copy came with a download card as well.  I’d also encourage you to check out Nikola Vitković’s website HERE, as he has a lot of info about his other releases.

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