It is instructive that NUN released their first single five years ago with a track named ‘Cronenberg’. Their new LP THE DOME opens with a track named ‘Wake In Fright’, and presents a conceptual framework inspired by R. Buckminster Fuller that arms the record with a cohesive horror. On THE DOME, NUN’s development echoes the first wave of post-punk and Industrial music, from the malevolent broken electronics of Throbbing Gristle to the sensual trance of Chris and Cosey, or Human League’s journey from the turgid grind of ‘Being Boiled’ to the giddy synth-pop of DARE. An example: in contrast to the early recordings in which Branagan’s vocals were a heavily affected cyborg wail, the vocals on THE DOME have an immediacy and clarity.
This clarity does not sever a connection with the sinister and disturbed themes that have been NUN’s character, but enforces the sense of confidence you would hope from a band on their second LP. This is most apparent on the first single from the album ‘Can’t Chain’, on which Branagan recently elucidated: “Desire is fundamental to THE DOME - I see it as the life force that drives human connection, not just to other humans, but also to the will to live. It is both cruel and necessary. This song is about the struggle to maintain desire. It’s drain disco music.”
The aforementioned cohesion of theme and conviction of delivery are qualities one would hope for in a contemporary incarnation of the post-punk and Industrial disturbance. THE DOME is radiant electronic music accompanying such images of psychological horror as relating to the immersive experience of desire. IMMERSION.