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atmosphere - beauty - groove

 

   

 

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Campus Circle, April 2002
Spacious melodies help weave hypnotic grooves on this disc, which includes a special, surreal-like cover of Ted Nugent's "Stranglehold". The beauty of Judy Neubauer's voice adds a poignancy to the songs rarely seen on indie releases. "Must Be Something" is a standout track, featuring the brilliant mix of Ustad Khan Ali's soaring guitar chords over the rhythmic wall of Steve Karolus's bass and Lorenzo Scott's percussion. The musicianship and vocals are flawless on all of these textural tapestries.

Sunset Strip Radio Live Review,  April 2001
Nectar(phonic)
At The Knitting Factory
By Dan Kimpel
Sunset Strip Radio
April 9, 2001

The Knitting Factory's intimate After-Knit Lounge was the setting for a late night Saturday show by the four-piece Los Angeles-based band, Nectar. Interestingly, the movie projectors that lit the walls with images of writhing insects, baseball training camps and vintage aircraft seemed somehow to fit this band's pensive, moody music.

Nectar's sound was defined by integrity and clarity. The rhythm section of Scott and Karolus was tightly-locked, offering precise, unwavering time keeping; almost a human loop. The band's most dynamic element was Ken Lee. Alternating between a Gibson SG, a laminated Telecaster adorned with Chinese symbols and a Roland keyboard, his bell-like tones drew similar orchestral figures in the music on each instrument; a high-end parallel to Ms. Neubauer's dead-on, legato phrasing. Throughout the set, the blend of his chiming lines with her opaque vocals was the band's trademark.

The dark-toned opener, "Arabesque" defined the band's parameters, with Lee's guitar leaving plenty of space for Neubauer's voice. Scott's cymbal's offered flashes of audio light while the indefatigable Karolous maintained a relentless groove.

For "Hands," Neubauer put down her rhythm guitar and picked up a tambourine, allowing her full concentration on the ascending vocal lines that paralleled Lee's soaring guitar. A syncopated breakdown near the end of the song allowed Scott to display an advanced, almost reggae, high-hat feel.

"Will I" was the standout song in this set; with Neubauer challenging, "I dare you to love me" in tonal sync with Lee's sonorous, volume-pedal guitar lines.    Ken Lee seemed totally at home on stage, an animated maestro in absolute command of his tools and his toys.

Mean Street, December 2000
Nectar, The Joint, Los Angeles November 10

Next up were the Los Angeles based astmospheric groove pop band, Nectar.   They're like the organic version of the female-fronted Mono or Morcheeba.  You may have caught their music months ago on MTV's "Undressed".  If not, watch out for their song, "A Million Things" ( actually, it's "The One" -- ed. ) to show up in the indie film, "Echoes of Enlightenment", which is on its way to the Sundance Festival this season.

Their performance was highlighted by ( a ) hauntingly beautiful and smooth feminine voice ( a bonus for a female singer :) -- ed .) beginning with Nectar's first song on their namesake EP/CD, "Arabesque", a mid-tempo ethereal number with jazzy-stop-start percussion.  They moved on to a new resonant up-tempo song spiced with the E-Bow, an instrument which added vibrato ( it actually adds infinite sustain -- ed .) to the singer/guitarist's instrumental parts ( as well as to the guitarist's parts -- ed .).  They continued with songs going back to 1999, many accented by keyboards, but one of my favorites was "Will I", embracing power percussion and fading vocals at the close.  The best of all was "One In Three", an entrancic ( sic ) flowing ballad with a reverberating guitar explosion that finished off the piece with fanfare. -- Daryl Searle

Alternative Press, June 2000
Nectar has created a confident new CD-EP of soul-stirring music, with a nod towards a  more seductive, trippier, more meaty Cocteau Twins.  Judy Neubauer's voice is positively intoxicating, and Nectar are masters at weaving their own unique brand of heady, rhythmic soundscapes.  Lovers of Tricky, 4AD, and dream-pop will salivate over this sonic stew.

Muse Magazine, June 2000
Magical.  Beautiful.  Lush.  Delicious. 

My only criticism of this five-song EP is that there are not nearly enough songs.  It is music that you keep playing again and again while you dance in the dark.  I'm in love...

Indiespace  June 2000
Is this the Nectar of the gods before us? Well, not exactly, but close enough. A dreamy heavenly sound is what the group
Nectar produces with the help of some steady vocals by group member Judy Neubauer, who also plays the guitar. Ken Lee
(guitar & keyboards), Steve Karolos (bass), and Lorenzo Scott (drums)create the soundscape for Neubauer to float on in each tune.


SpinRecords.com
Though this band has only been around since the summer of '99, the confidence with which this band plays will lead you to
think they might not be telling the total truth. Perhaps-but that is just the mystery that is Nectar; quiet, atmospheric, and alluring
like a dark, seductive alleyway.

Muzikman/The Lunatic Fringe  May 23, 2000
... pull out a sound all their own...

Each and every of the few notes plucked resounds deeply like a tiny sonic ripple in a soulful pond. ...these guys have a propensity for finding just the right combination of notes to line up together without overdoing it. It's almost like they have a built-in emotional gauge, instructing them on the proper amount of atmosphere to add to each and every song. Not to mention Neubauer's sweetly serene lo-fi voice fits in all the necessary gaps beautifully. "The One" radiates this power most aptly.

...fans of Portishead, Cat Power, and Belle and Sebastian, plus all artists in between, shouldn't mind the way they do it a bit.

Mean Street  April 2000
Nectar is not only producing fragrant blooms on trees here in the Southland, Nectar the L.A. band is also creating sweet, sweet music at a venue near you.   Their namesake EP is filled with sultry grooves and soothing percussional moves.   If you love Portishead, Lamb, and Mono, this'll brighten up your stereo.  Judy Neubauer's vocals are lush.  Nectar's "less is more" approach to white space between music notes makes it a honey of style to digest with a cup of herbal tea.   Guitarist Ken Lee recently returned from Morocco.  Sure hope that trip is going to be a big rhythmic influence on your next writing materal. 

MuzikMan March 17, 2000
Is this the Nectar of the gods before us? Well, not exactly, but close enough. A dreamy heavenly sound is what the
group Nectar produces with the help of some steady vocals by group member Judy Neubauer, who also plays the guitar.
Ken Lee (guitar & keyboards), Steve Karolus (bass), and Lorenzo Scott (drums) create the soundscape for Neubauer to
float on in each tune. This group sounds as if they could cut loose at any given moment but they harness the energy
and direct it in a mellow and pop oriented direction.

It all sounds just grand. This group is poised to go head on into a full length project and I imagine it's going to sound
awfully good once it's completed. If this EP is any indication of were the group is headed it looks as though it's in the
right direction.

MP3 Featured Artists
Judy Neubauer's lovely voice is a wonderful color on the pallette of Nectar, another Los Angleles band that has the feel of Garbage or Portishead. The color is violet or purple and begs for dimmed lights, wine, and quiet conversation. Smooth vocals, a cryptic message, and solid pop groove highlight this solid effort. You won't jump out of your seat listening to Nectar but you will sway to the rhythm and hum along with the melody as they take you on this very satisfying pop music journey.


 
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