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"Best Fit Session"

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Watch: NZCA/LINES – Nazca (Best Fit Session)

It’s fair to say that we’ve fallen in love with the debut from ex-Your Twenties bassist Michael Lovett. As NZCA/LINES he’s fused pop music with an abstract, art-school ethic and created what we judged to be a “modern classic” with his first self-titled album. For their Best Fit Session, they gave us the majestic-sounding ‘Nazca’, one of our favourite cuts from the record.
- Line of Best Fit

"Okinawa Channels Track Review"

NME Reviews
January 13, 2012NZCA/Lines - 'Okinawa Channels' Sleaze-free synthgroove
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Album InfoRelease Date: January 16, 2012Label: Loaf We’ve decided we’re going to forgive Michael Lovett’s slightly jarring nom de tunes, but only because of his wondrous way with a sleaze-free synthgroove. Like Hot Chip after enforce d waxing and compulsory enrolment in BRIT School evening class, ‘Okinawa Channels’ is liquid electronica smoother than Sade sipping piña coladas on Miami Beach. - NME

"Album Review"

According to Londoner Michael Lovett, his debut album as NZCA/Lines draws inspiration from US R&B star Aaliyah and Italian postmodern author Italo Calvino, not to mention the Peruvian geoglyphs after which he named his band – but none of that information is necessary to enjoy this short but perfectly formed synth-pop record. In contrast to so much hazy electronic pop floating around at the moment, the melodies here are full-bodied and the production, on standouts such as "Compass Points", is clean and precise. The only problem with this little gem of an album is that there isn't more of it. - The Observer



In the expanse of the southern Peruvian desert lie a series of seemingly innocuous lines carved in the area’s distinctive ruddy surface. Innocuous from the ground, that is. From above that barren scape, in flight or from high in the surrounding hills, these lines come to staggering life.

Forged by the ancient Nazca culture around 1500 years ago, they form a series of geometrical shapes, and more remarkable still, beautifully crafted images of creatures including a monkey, a giant and a lizard. In the wrong context these lines are nothing of note. But viewed in the correct way, they are one of this earth’s most extraordinary spectacles. So struck was Michael Lovett by this phenomenon that its name was adopted as the overarching title for his entire musical existence. Both specifically and in a broader sense, the lines simply spoke to him.

Lovett comes from exceptional musical stock. His brother, Gabriel Stebbing, was one of the founding members of Metronomy, that rarest of bands who combine popular appeal with impeccable musicianship and credibility. Indeed, the area of Devon which sparked his musical longings spawned numerous creative individuals particularly adept in the art of perfectly-made pop. Lovett soon found his own route. Via the promise- riddled Taking Tiger Mountain, a band whose early outings suggested a spark that many bands could never hope to achieve, and a stint on bass in his brother’s post-Metronomy indie-pop outfit Your Twenties, he found that his ear for a tune was perhaps best nurtured alone. From this came the self-made but wide-reaching sound of NZCA/Lines. The forward-thinking Loaf Recordings soon picked it up, and an exceptional self-titled debut followed.

Much like those humble Peruvian lines, behind the immediate impression of simple, addictive pop melody is a wealth of intriguing detail and intent. The painstakingly thought-out concept, which unfurls lovingly throughout the record, never becomes alienating. In isolation these songs are dance floor- friendly with an effortless knack for melody which belies Lovett’s youthful appearance, crisply produced with just the right amount of R’n’B sex and sass alongside clipped, glitchy beats. And when listened to as a whole, the album’s internal referentiality and considered artistic context hits hard and true.

Joined by a pair of like-minded individuals in the live arena, he has found a way to not replicate but recreate the album in a live setting. This has served to forge a real sense of momentum, where the record has become both a starting point and a creation that runs alongside this constantly evolving project. It’s a show that Crack is proud to be presenting at our forthcoming monthly party at Dalston’s The Nest on May 12th.

Having shared an enlightening conversation with this truly inventive young artist, as well as gratefully accepting a mix-tape for our Crackcast series which showcases an extremely eclectic roll-call of influences, far from being limited by its dedication to one-of Peru’s greatest landmarks, this project shows scope to grow and grow.

How has your song-writing process changed since you began as a musician?

It’s changed a lot. It used to be about trying to write the three minute pop song in a band format, sitting at home playing the drums and the bass. Then I moved to Falmouth and the band and me started playing some of those demos I’d worked on in my Mum’s garage. That evolved into the band Taking Tiger Mountain, and it became far more about being a band than just being me. While that band only existed for a short time, everyone was very proactive. I got caught up in the romance of a band, not least because of my brother – not Metronomy, cause that came a bit later – but he was in various bands. But I’ve now almost gone back to the way I used to write music before that point, back when I was 15/16, based on the computer and messing around with keyboards and multi-tracking. It’s really nice because you come up with stuff you wouldn’t expect; you’re able to put something down and create ideas by joining things together in a way you wouldn’t expect.

You wonder if there’s something in the water down in Devon, with people like yourself and Metronomy making such memorable pop music. Were you all friends growing up?

Well, the Metronomy guys are older, Joe (Mount) is like five years older, Gabe’s seven. They were leaving school when I was 13/14. They were very much the older generation at that point, I was only really allowed to be included in parties and stuff a little later on. Even then, especially with Gabe, it’s been difficult to get past the ‘little brother’ thing. And along with James, who’s in Veronica Falls, I saw them all but couldn’t claim to have been friends with them as I was a bit too young.

Were they making music back then as well?

Yeah, Joe, James and Gabe and this other guy were in a really good kind of Beatles-esque four-piece called The Upsides. There are some great photos of them all when they were about 16, and my Mum always used to play it in the car! I think it’s stuff like that which pushed me towards being a band. There’s a tape with a track that is Joe Mount’s first go at playing guitar and recording. That’s probably going to be worth something at some point!

Do you think it’s the future to continue to see more and more solo, bedroom-type producers rather than bands? It’s notoriously difficult to make money, so do you think more and more people will be drawn to doing simpler, more time and cost-effective solo projects?

It’s true that there’s not much money to be made, but actually I think the context of the solo project is marked by an essentially lo-fi sound. People make music on their laptops, but because of that it doesn’t have much sonic depth to it because you’re limited by using something digital. My record was made in the bedroom, but at the same time I was lucky enough to be able to use high-quality equipment and I ended up paying for it to be mixed on an amazing desk so it’s gone through lots of lovely analogue compressors. If you want stuff to sound really great then you either have to save up and buy equipment yourself, or you need to spend the money on taking it into that last stage. But you never really lose the need to play live, and that has to be more than just a person with a laptop to be exciting.

We were really impressed with the branding – the music videos, imagery, artwork – for NZCA/Lines. Were you heavily involved in that and do you view it as important?

Really important. I’ve taken a long time to consider the branding I want but it’s still changing and it’s still a little bit of ‘taste it and see’. I’m glad you think it’s been consistent, for me it’s fluctuated a little because I’m still learning how to do certain things. I really wanted to do the artwork for the record, but I wasn’t able to do it justice because I didn’t know how to use the programmes or make something that looked slick enough or had the right feeling about it. So Non-Format did the sleeve, which is really great.

Yes, we featured Non-Format in the magazine recently. How did you become connected with them?

They’ve done lots of work for Loaf and they have this strong ongoing relationship. They liked the record and came through with a few versions of what we ended up with, and it came out really well. I guess I’m just trying to learn from what they’ve done and … not copy, but be inspired by its approach. We made the last video, for Okinawa Channels, ourselves. A friend of ours is a professional photographer’s assistant and has done some filming. We took advice from friends and came up with this concept in relation to the song being about radio waves infiltrating a town and making everyone go insane.
- Crack Magazine


People often ask us, “what sort of music does The Recommender cover?“. Well, we follow our taste. That doesn’t really answer the question, but in all honesty, we hop from genre to genre and style to style. The one rule we always apply is that it has to be good to get inches on here. Very good. We have never been one of those blogs to post several times a day, or even every day, as being selective allows our readers to truly discover on this blog’s pages. To arrive and find something that isn’t necessarily already plastered everywhere – not that we demand exclusivity or care for the faux race to be ‘first’ – should mark us out as a true weapon in your music discovery armoury. You come to The Recommender, and most importantly return to The Recommender, because you genuinely get something from us with each visit.

Today’s recommendation is good example selection. A tidy case study for those wanting to know ‘the sort of music The Recommender covers’. NZCA/LINES transcends pigeon holes and genres. Trying to pin him down to one over-arching description is no easy feat, for this musician with an art-school history is a true creative. But he is good. Very good. Quality oozes out of him like Picasso’s paintbrush and it’s this perfect palette that’s earned him coverage on our blog today. It’s actually the work of the solo artist Michael Lovett, from London, who designs minimalist electronic pop music that equally parts bleak and welcoming. It’s a juxtaposition all in itself. If it was a city it would be Tokyo, with it’s lonely issues of isolation, but also with it’s fascinating, neon excitement. It’s delicate and intricate, but bright and beaming, like a laser through the darkness.

Some commentators have used Metronomy to describe elements of his sound. It turns out that it’s a correct comparison, as there’s line, as straight as those from the Peruvian desert, that links him with the successful pop band from Devon. Firstly, Lovett has had one of that band’s producers, Ash Workman, on hand in the studio for his self-titled debut album, which is currently scheduled for a release in January 2012. Secondly, he used to play bass for a band called Your Twenties, who were fronted by ex-Metronomy member, Gabriel Stebbing. It’s all turning into something of a family tree with Metronomy at it’s roots. That’s no bad thing of course, but the sounds that all these bands produce have a strong similarity too, with falsetto vocals that soften the otherwise minimal hard edges. Beats bounce like rubber and notes are played individually, but it all wraps up into something rounded and enjoyable.

His debut single, Compass Points, is steeped in his love for the genre of RnB. It’s medically clean aesthetic and exact production finds every sound and beat perfectly placed. It takes the urban definition and takes it to a natural conclusion, sounding like the theme to a sci-fi, fantasy cityscape. Just like the rest of the record, it also has a sexy charm to it, but it’s subtle melancholy suggests love with a dark secret. New single, Okinawa Channels, continues the electronic pulse and smooth synthetics. It has tones of Hot Chip‘s more minimal compositions, but maintains all of the geeky sexuality, turning up the heat much in the same horny way Daley delivers with his nerdy aesthetic. NZCA/LINES more than qualifies for our coverage, not only for being totally ace, but for designing such architecturally beautiful music. We put The Recommender together in the way that we do so that our readers can regularly discover artists such as this, but also because we too get as much out of the process as you do. This is one urban landscape that we hope you’ve enjoyed wandering around today, but please note that we’re always wandering together. The Recommender music discovery service is not just for you, it’s actually for us all. (MB)
- The Recommender

"One to Watch Feature"

Unless you’re pretty sured up on your Peruvian geoglyphs, you won’t have the foggiest where the idea for Michael Lovett’s disemvowelled NZCA/Lines tag comes from. Perched outside a modest café in the heart of Brixton, he divulges his passage into musicdom.

“I was playing guitar from when I was about seven and then played classical piano, all of that exciting Bach, when I was younger, which I’ve now pretty much forgotten. I ended up playing in a lot of different bands and went to art college, because I thought it would be the best place to find other musicians rather than going to music college.”

It half worked, with Lovett brushing through a number of dormant bands before setting up a more synth-embracing project on the side. It’s when he started producing demos with Hackney-based producer Charlie Alex March that it all started to come together whilst simultaneously freeing a newfound esteem for Timbaland-esque, R&B production. His voice may not be salted with the same vigour as the late Aaliyah or primetime R. Kelly for that matter, but, “it was through listening to Aaliyah and Ciara, that smooth R&B sound; the more I realised how complex and how many nuances there were.”

The outcome is a batch of tracks, via his self-titled album, that are rich in electronic fibre. Whether it’s the images that the seatbelt-confined, nightly endeavours of ‘Moonlit Car Chase’ congeal or ‘Compass Points’ where falsetto trickles placidly over a glut of analogue debauchery. Now, with an impressive body of work under the belt, Michael’s attentions turn to audience reaction.

“It’s going to be interesting seeing the stage after you release something and how people perceive you after other people have heard it and the ownership is beyond you. I reckon that would be an interesting experience.”

Read Clash's review of NZCA/Lines' self-titled album.

Words by Errol Anderson

Where: London
What: Analogue synth pop
Get 3 songs: ‘Compass Points’, ‘Okinawa Channels’, ‘Base64 Love’
Unique fact: Michael can perform a primitive form of belly-dancing.
- Clash Magazine

"Mp3 Post"

Sounds like: Passion Pit, Hot Chip, Kindness, Yeasayer
What's so good?
By Devin Duckworth | October 13th, 2012

Michael Lovett, aka NZCA/Lines, hails from a musically inclined planet far, far away known as London, England. Electronic is his game and his self-titled debut album is his claim to fame. Today, thanks to The Muse Box, we have his latest work of art known as “Airlock.”

This tantalizing track captures your attention right from the start. The sumptuous high-pitched vocals softly sing into your speakers while the crisp electronics pepper in faultlessly, ultimately crafting a song that meanders somewhere in between electronic dance and R&B.

According to Lovett, “Airlock” is “a breakup song set deep in space, proving that the human heart can function even in the dark celestial vacuum.” While I’m not one to disparage when it comes to lovelorn anthems, I’d have to say this is one that surpasses most.

“Airlock” is the first single from NZCA/LINES’ A Side of a digital 7? that’s coming out on 10/23 on Straight to the Sun. - Indieshuffle

"Dazed & Confused Interview"

We speak to the man behind the pop-tastic sounds behind the new single 'Compass Points' taken from the album on Lo Recordings

Named after the ancient geographical phenomena that are Nzca Lines (formerly known as Nazca Lines), Michael Lovett has been producing lush waves of electronic sounds on London's Lo Recordings, heavily influenced by the likes of Aaliyah. His new release, Compass Points, is the first single to be taken from his forthcoming album, with work from Charlie Alex March and mixed by Ash Workman (which you can hear has worked with the likes of Simian Mobile Disco, and Metronomy etc), fusing R'n'B beats and pop melodies. Check out the new video directed by James Houston.

Dazed Digital: If you had to, how would you describe your sound?
Nzca Lines: It is the last day Earth orbits our sun, but it’s hot; though some of the beaches have already turned to glass, this only provides a further dancefloor on which beautiful women, some still sipping bubbling Cristal, continue to dance. The sheer reflective gloss of this surface and the bronzed bodies upon it makes you flinch, turn away. Glancing behind you, the source of the music becomes apparent - a man wearing a ceremonial robe is placing giant chrome discs inside a huge speaker stack. As someone passes you your last glass of champagne, another Nazca Lines track stutters through the bass cones.

DD: Where do you draw your musical influences from?
Nzca Lines: Aaliyah is a big influence on my vocal sound. Right at the beginning, when we were working out how best to represent these songs, I accidently found the acapella for ‘Try Again’, and it blew me away. I had no idea she was singing so softly. I am a big fan of RnB in general, such as Ciara and Rihanna, because it can yield the greatest pop songs. You’ve got all these incredibly talented people working to create a product that’s just … perfect. Instrumental electronic music such as Ovuca, DMX Krew and Drexciya is also a big influence on the album. Drexciya’s music has a strong narrative behind it, something I have tried to create myself in the lyrics for this record. Each current Nazca Lines song sketches in different elements of a futuristic mythology, centred on New Magnetic North - an artificial set of magnetic poles - and the compasses it controls.

DD: As your latest single Compass Points was produced by Lo Recording's Charlie Alex March and mixed by Ash Workman - Did working with these experienced and established professionals change the way you make music?
Nzca Lines: Yes, pretty drastically. When I started working with Charlie I was just a fresh-faced young buck with a handful of songs and a crap computer. Cans were something baked beans came in; a mixer was what went with the Bacardi you bought at the Student Union. Now look at me. I can talk about ‘phase issues’ and the benefits of analogue synthesizers, and I know what a woman being sucked out of a piano into a space-cube sounds like. It’s been great working with Charlie and being able to mix the record with Ash was a real treat. These people were both my friends before I started working with them professionally, anyway. Are they still? Well..

DD: What are you most excited about next?
Nzca Lines: Lots of things. Releasing this record with the wonderful label LOAF, for one. The Japanese label Big Love are also releasing a Nazca Lines 7” soon, which is extremely exciting. Playing live. Making a new record (once people have actually heard this one). I’ve been working with Charlie on a project of his too, designing a machine to manually play keyboards - 'Messier 001'. It's in the prototype stage, and i’m excited about what could happen with it. Also, keep your ears open for Night Works. That’s all i’m allowed to say for the moment.
- Dazed and Confused

"Timeout London Record review"

Nzca/Lines - ‘Nzca/Lines’
By Kim Taylor Bennett
Meet Michael Lovett, 24-years-old, Totnes-raised, art school student, multi-instrumentalist, unassuming: a formidable talent. For a time he played bass in his big brother's band Your Twenties, but all the while, in the sanctity of his bedroom, he was quietly working on his own material. Eschewing the production crutches traditionally associated with bedroom pop – ie hazy reverb – and with the help of housemate, fellow Lo Recordings artist/producer Charlie Alex March, Lovett realised his (vintage) synth compositions in glorious hi-def.

Inspired as much by Austrian composer Anton Bruckner's motets and Brian Wilson, as Aaliyah's method of singing softly (check the a capella of ‘Try Again’), Lovett's falsetto harmonies cocoon, his melodies are sensual and stirring, even as he sings about formatting a hard drive (‘Base64 Love‘).

While the music melds R&B and retro-futuristic synth-pop, Lovett's lyrics are no afterthought. His tunes tell of strange happenings in stranger environs. The melancholic ‘Nzca‘ sees the a man fall in love with his spaceship, ‘Moonlit Car Chase‘ is the tale of a lover's cryogenic pact gone awry; while ‘Atoms & Axes‘ finds two separated sweethearts searching for each other across a nuclear wasteland.

Alongside album opener ‘Compass Points‘, the undoubted highlight is ‘Okinawa Channels‘ all crisp beats, a lithe hook and a heart-surging string sample at the halfway point. And a story about interfering transmissions from an alternate dimension. It's the record in a nutshell: supreme nerdiness married to a press-repeat groove. ‘Nzca/Lines‘ is exacting but soulful, sexy and imaginative; debut of the year. - Timeout

"NZCA/LINES - Album Review"

In the shiny pop utopia of my more fervid imaginings, there's a sweet spot triangulated from Man Machine and Computer World-era Kraftwerk, Scritti Politti (from any damn era) and Sylvian and Ryuichi Sakamoto's 'Forbidden Colours' (and you could square it with NZCA labelmate Susumu Yokota). Because pop should be/is a place of magic where dreams come true, there is NZCA/LINES – a debut so exquisitely tooled I cannot find a thing wrong with it. If the word weren't so open to misinterpretation, I'd call it perfect.

Romance, wit, human frailty – little miracles of the (not-so) mundane, measured out by the metronomic precision of machines. A swoon amidst bleeps.

Like Active Child's Pat Grossi, Michael Lovett is a solipsistic angel (understandably) entranced by his own voice. Lovett coos creamily, delights in sudden, delicate vocal swoops, and the pleasure in play is palpable: in 'Okinawa Channels' the ecstatic, multi-tracked 'Yes!' at 2.30 and 2.46 is so heart-stoppingly sweet you can't but smile, and then skip back through the track just to give yourself that little hit again, and again; then there's the all-too-brief 'AM Travel Interlude' which is interstellar doo-wop, as imagined by Benjamin Britten.

Unlike Active Child – windswept, gothic, splashed with neon, directed by Michael Mann - Lovett makes NZCA a little wonky, sexy, funny, intimate and precise, choosing specific everyday images ('the coins in my pocket…/the rain on the bonnet') and making them glow. If NZCA/LINES were a film, it might be directed by Michael Winterbottom.

NZCA/LINES is probably going to be compared in certain quarters to Hot Chip – well, imagine Hot Chip if all the songs were as good as the good songs, and there wasn't the overwhelming sense they were working really, really hard at it; NZCA/LINES is probably also going to be compared to Junior Boys – where (despite early promise) there's little hint of anything substantially effortful, where all messily fleshy humanity has been abstracted into ether. There's an instinctual deftness here, a melodic facility that makes everything truly felt but never laboured.

The gestures towards an international itinerary – Japan, Peru, the dream-geography of sorta theme-song 'Nazca' itself – belie the essential Britishness of this music. That's not British like Britpop, it's British like Robert Wyatt's Dondestan, like Prefab Sprout skipping through different Americas on From Langley Park To Memphis. Irresistible opener 'Compass Points' has some of that record's wide-eyed, unabashed romance (and none of its occasionally cloying clever-cleverness). The first few seconds encompass everything that's wonderful about NZCA/LINES – a perfectly clipped beat set in a lustrous emptiness, contrasted with a sort of synthetic twang that's deliciously (but only by the merest whisker) a little bit off, and Lovett – breathing: insistent, warm, human, immediate. Perfect, dammit. Perfect. - The Quietus

"NZCA/LINES - BBC Album review"

Seduced by psychology, spirituality, science fiction, Peruvian geoglyphs and forward-thinking RnB production, Michael Lovett’s arrival at gossamer synths-laden electro pop is a pleasing surprise amidst such eclecticism. Born out of a growing tiredness with guitar music and partly inspired by a healthy fascination with Aaliyah, his lustrous pop take on honeyed bump and grind is a blissful amalgamation of disparity. And it makes this eponymous album under his NZCA/Lines moniker a triumph of craft and form.

A measured mix of sexless vocal robotics, cut-crystal falsettos and breathless mourning layered on a backdrop of delicate, programmed beats, this is an album that glides between the concertedly cold and a simplistic joy in pop harmonies. Creating a world of dystopian landscapes, populated by lost souls and lost lovers, it’s a set that’s apocalyptic without needing any blockbuster dramatics to paint a bleak picture of a future full of roaming sentinels and desperate biomechanics.

Lovett’s diaphanous vocal, however, isn’t just a flat-line soundtrack created for some synthetic future. There’s some healthy deference to Depeche Mode’s muted delivery, but on Moonlit Car Chase and the Cliff Martinez haze of Patrol Late Back there’s the flicker of humanity that gives NZCA/Lines’ artificial intelligence some soul. More heartbeat than time stamp, this very same organic constituent is the spur for the languorous slink of Okinawa Channels and the busy multi-vocal of Compass Points, a track fine enough to have Junior Boys purring in downbeat appreciation and Metronomy nodding in off-beat acceptance.
But at the heart of all of this there’s loneliness and longing which is tangible throughout, Lovett seeming to find relative solace in the measured and mechanised elements of the album. And where it’s not about the process and metronome order, Lovett’s journeying lyrics drive the distance, summoning real atmosphere around this album's nameless, faceless commentary.

"New band of the day: NZCA/LINES"

Hometown: London.

The lineup: Michael Lovett (vocals, instruments).

The background: Talk about changes of direction. The last time we heard, Michael Lovett was playing bass and singing backing vocals in a pop-rock outfit called Your Twenties. Today, he's operating as a one-man band with the avowed intention of being "our" answer to Timbaland circa Aaliyah's Try Again, with himself doing both parts – ie the quixotic production and the cooing cyborg vocals. We're deadly serious. So is Lovett: "Aaliyah is a big influence on my vocal sound," he said. "Right at the beginning, when [I was] working out how best to represent these songs, I accidentally found the a cappella for Try Again, and it blew me away. I'm a big fan of R&B in general, such as Ciara and Rihanna, because it can yield the greatest pop songs. You've got all these incredibly talented people working to create a product that's just … perfect."

It's one of those things that indie musicians have long paid lip service to – the desire to make pop as perfect as American R&B producers. Canada's Junior Boys came closest with Last Exit, their 2004 homage to the rhythmic tricksiness, starkness and sophistication of R&B (and UK garage). And Franz Ferdinand flirted with avant-funk, at least theoretically, in 2008 when they worked briefly with Britain's own dance-pop hit machine Xenomania, but they bottled it at the 11th hour and made, well, another Franz Ferdinand album. But then, it's a lot easier to bash out tracks on guitar, bass and drums than it is to collude with a studio sorcerer and create something as unearthly and strange as Try Again, which despite being 11 years old still sounds as though it was beamed in from another planet in the far-flung future.

Lovett, luckily for us, is determined to realise his ambitions. We're not sure why he's named the project after the ancient geoglyphs in the Peruvian desert, but we like his choice of collaborators: Ash Workman, producer/engineer for Simian Mobile Disco and Metronomy, and Charlie Alex March, a composer and producer whose pre-recording advice to Lovett was to put away all guitars and immerse himself in the music of Ciara and Stravinsky. You probably won't be surprised to learn that the results veer more towards the former than the latter.

The seven tracks we've heard from NZCA/Lines' 2012 debut album are pleasingly polished, recalling some of the 80s artists who successfully absorbed the influence of then-contemporary black music (notably Scritti Politti), as well as Junior Boys, and Hot Chip. We'd like to think the first single, Compass Points, is titled after the famous studios in the Bahamas where slick musicianship and rhythmic proficiency reigned, while Lovett's falsetto is at least as accomplished as Jamie Lidell's in the surrogate-Prince stakes, even if no one's going to mistake him for Ciara. Okinawa Channels moves at a Hot Chip-circa-Boy from School pace, the briskness contrasting with mournful, contemplative vocals. Work has the hi-gloss of a Jam and Lewis production, and Lovett gets the syncopated sighing just right. It's as lustrous and smooth a combination of programmed beats and "proper" musicianship as that offered by those other modern exponents of dexterous latterday jazz-funk, Jensen Sportag, on their sublime Mapquest EP. Best of all, though, is Moonlit Car Chase. Like everything Lovett does, it has a hi-falutin' concept – it's about a death pact between a cryogenically frozen couple – and a melody that won't quit. With its chilling synths, stuttering rhythms and a soulful turn from Lovett, it's one of the most formally perfect songs of the year. Not quite up there with Try Again, perhaps, but then, not even Timbaland is that good these days.
- Guardian

"Airlock - Track Premiere!"

UK electronic pop artist Michael Lovett records as NZCA/LINES, and earlier this year he released that project's self-titled debut. NZCA/LINES' sophomore effort is due some time in 2013, and this song is from that release; it'll be released soon as a single alongside another one, "Not Strong Enough", which made the rounds in demo form last year.
- Pitchfork


NZCA/LINES (February 2012) (Lo Recordings)


Airlock / Not Strong Enough (K23 - Europe / Straight to the Sun - US)

Compass Points (Lo Recordings)
6 Music A-List

Atoms & Axes EP (Alter K)
France only release

Okinawa Channels (Lo Recordings)



Originally conceived as a guitar based project, NZCA-LINES has been transformed into a suave, synth-pop sensation that combines pop melodies with R&B beats and lush arrangements with multi layered harmonies.
Produced by fellow LOAF/LO label-mate Charlie Alex March and mixed by Ash Workman (Simian Mobile Disco Club, Metronomy etc), together with main man Michael Lovett they’ve created one of the years most thrilling debut albums.

From the opening bars it’s clear that there’s a unique and beautiful talent at work. Something about the clarity of the arrangements, the crisp harmonies and insidious melodies that sets it apart from other releases.

Shimmering slices of dream pop the like of which have not been heard since Scritti Politti’s ‘Cupid & Psyche’ , follow one after another to create a future world rooted in timeless magic.

It’s partly that timeless quality that makes the music feel so good (a lineage that stretches back to the Beach Boys, check the barbershop harmonies that make up ‘AM Travel Interlude’) and partly the exhilaration you feel as you zoom into the future taking in The Neptunes, Junior Boys, Timbaland and Bogdan Raczynski along the way.

In the same way that the great Nazca Lines of Peru from which NZCA LINES take their name, can only be perceived from high above, so the music of NZCA LINES can only be taken in gradually, such is its scope and depth.

Think of it as a musical teleportation system beaming sounds and vibrations from different eras into the present whilst at the same time projecting them into the future.

After releasing his debut in February 2012 and touring with Django Django, Of Montreal and Clock Opera, NZCA/LINES is back with two new slices of futuristic pop 'Airlock' and 'Not Strong Enough'. Evolved from the same Vangelis-meets-Nelly gene pool of his debut, combine pop melodies with R&B beats, lush arrangements with multi layered harmonies; a suave, synth-pop sensation. These tracks offer an epilogue to Lovett’s first record as he works on his sophomore album, due in 2013.