Globe-trotting and much loved DJ and producer Nickodemus, is back with his fifth album, “Soul & Science.” Known in many circles worldwide for his own inimitable style rooted in the many cultures of New York City, Nickodemus mixes influences from the Latin, African, Middle Eastern and Caribbean diasporas, blending them with homegrown sounds like House, Disco, and Hip-Hop with style and finesse. This new album is no different in its genre and influence fluidity, taking listeners on a journey of self-discovery through Nico’s eyes, exploring the relationship between humanity and technology in a rapidly changing world, weaving together a vibrant tapestry of musical genres from his time spend criss-crossing the globe as an artist the last two decades. “Despite our fears of being taken over by evil-intelligent robots or imploding from our own internal turmoil, human beings endure, converting joy and pain into expressions of art. The voices on this album lead us to the realization: we share more in common with each other than modern media would like us to believe”, says Nico. And like with every one of his albums, the title track “Soul & Science” offers us a Hip Hop lyrical summary on the theme of the record. “Artificial Intelligence is irrelevant to my artistry.”, Malik Work rhymes, “I’m an outlier, true outsider, not the average. Can’t be computed and booted for data gathering.”
As is the case with every Nickodemus record, “Soul & Science” is a collaborative effort between old and new friends, recorded on the road or in his home studio / record room / memorabilia museum. “Plastic (A Bigger Name)” features NYC Queer icons The Illustrious Blacks who give voice to this stomping dancefloor anthem with an irresistible bassline. Called “Bed Stuy’s favorite creative couple” by the New York Times, The Blacks deliver a lyrical performance calling out the social media driven fakeness that’s taken over our world.
Sudanese purveyor of “East African Retro-Pop” Alsarah guests in a rare English performance on “Shadow Thief”, a disco get down inside the souk with a dissonant flute line and vocals metaphorically speaking on migration and human displacement. The album opener “La Noche” featuring Antonio Lizana is classic Nickodemus fare, with a deep Hip Hop groove & a modern twist on traditional Flamenco vocals describing the creative burst we get as artists out in nightlife. “Mama Tchipp” featuring French/ Cameroonian vocalist Pat Kalla bangs straight into an uplifting African disco groove with an mega funky bassline from Jonathan Maron, Jungle Fire on Horns and longtime Wonderwheel affiliate Gitkin on guitar. Caribbean island hopping, we have the Carnaval inspired “No Puedo Parar” & “Rumba Tobacco y Ron” one of the last songs written by Puerto Rico’s late great star Hector “Tempo” Alomar (vocalist on the legendary Nickodemus/Quanrtic collaboration track “Mi Swing es Tropical”) – once again Quantic is on board writing the horns parts with vocals sung by Cuba’s own Haydee Soul, making it a one of a kind Puerto Rico meets Cuba collaboration.
From Latin America to North & West Africa, from the dance-floors of Europe to the gritty homebase of New York City, “Soul & Science” is a celebration of the human spirit in all its multi-faceted glory as Nickodemus invites listeners to put down their phones, free their hands, be open to surprises and let loose on the dance-floor. The album is a reminder that, as emerging technologies continue to reshape our world, we must not forget the soulful, magical essence that makes us human.