No strangers to beautifully textured electronic ballads, London based CULT WITH NO NAME return after their previous release ‘Mediaburn’ with their tenth opus entitled ‘Nights In North Sentinel’.

Erik Stein and John Boux apart from popping out studio albums, contributed to soundtrack productions and around their fifth long player ‘Above As Below’ started extensive collaborations with the likes of Kelli Ali (the voice of SNEAKER PIMPS), Blaine L. Reininger, Bruce Geduldig and Luc van Lieshout of TUXEDOMOON, ex-STRANGLERS and Peter Gabriel guitarist John Ellis and Meg Maryatt of 17 PYGMIES.

At the invitation from David Lynch himself, CWNN were commissioned by German filmmaker Peter Braatz to produce the soundtrack for ‘Blue Velvet Revisited’; Both TUXEDOMOON and John Foxx were also involved.

Kelli Ali and Blaine L. Reininger return on the latest offering, with the former present on the opener ‘All Those Things I Admire’, which sets the melancholic mood with a superbly gentle ballad; simplistic yet wholesome, full of scant electronic elements pleasing the most discerning listeners. The following ‘Noa’s Arc’ has WOLFSHEIM-like connotations over its bustling darkwave; a more urgent rhythm, evocative of ‘The Sparrows & The Nightingales’ meeting early PET SHOP BOYS.

‘The Automatic Day’ is mournfully OMD-ish, while ‘Fight or Flight’ borrows Eastern sounds, to weave them into bluesy patches, reminiscent of Leonard Cohen’s greatest achievements. ‘You’re All You Ever Needed’ picks up the tempo with scrumptiously pulsating electronica, stripped to simplistic elements. Although minimalistic, the piece is larger than life, built up with stunning backing vocals and wistful melody.

Blaine L. Reininger joins in on the magnificent waltz ‘After The Storm’. Heart pulling strings, mournful piano and touch of gloom create sadness and longing, leading into ‘(Some Things Are) Better In Groups’. Oh hello, ERASURE-esque elements placed alongside moderate calmness, blossoming into an ear-friendly piece of positivity.

‘Home Again’ drags one onto the dance floor unexpectedly, followed by ‘Bulletproof’, with its sorrowful lyrics and adequately downcast musicality. In true NEW ORDER style, ‘This Means War’ oscillates rapidly, to weave away towards the tongue-in-cheek ‘Cult With No Name’, culminating in climactic ‘Ruins’.

The closing track, true to CWNN’s form, is nutritiously full of synth, gloriously flowing in and out of consciousness and wraps the product beautifully.

While for some, it’s difficult to marry electronica with easy listening popular music, CULT WITH NO NAME do it with experience and know how, connecting perfect songwriting skills with apt lyrics and stunning musicality.

‘Nights In North Sentinel’ is dreamy, calming and wistful, leading away from life’s surprises and making the receiver float out of their consciousness and transcend above, never quite to return to reality. This is for anyone wishing to forget themselves for a while and dream, dream, dream…

‘Nights In North Sentinel’ is released as a CD and download on 30th July 2021

Text by Monika Izabela Trigwell
19th July 2021