Nomo is Elliot Bergman’s brainchild. Bergman’s unique vision, from its humble beginnings in Ann Arbor, Mich. to its artistic fruition in the present, remains a testament to the fact that true art is not yet dead.
Many epic bands of our time have extraordinary explanations of how they formed through chance encounters and random applications through classifieds. Not Nomo though. It all began on a dare.
Legendary producer and His Name Is Alive cohort Warn DeFever one day dared Bergman to get as many musicians together in one room to record a one-off project. No one knew then that this would be the genesis of great things to come.
It spurred Bergman’s inspiration to continue this unique vision into a full-blown band. Nomo would eventually release the now-out-of-print Nomo EP, which later lead to the self-titled debut.
Around the same time, Nomo found a home at Ubiquity Records and laid down the masterpiece New Tones. The album became the platform from which Nomo would launch their career and expose their unique take on the Afrobeat genre. No stranger to comparisons to Fela Kuti, Nomo carried on.
“We get that a lot,” states Bergman. “It was the blueprint of the band in the beginning.”
Although Bergman doesn’t resent people name dropping Kuti in association with Nomo, he does find it limiting.
“We get that a lot as an Afrobeat band,” explains Bergman, “but I feel that with each record, we move further away from it.”
Every good tree pays homage to its roots and that’s exactly what Bergman strives to do. He yearns to create an identity for Nomo so unique that comparisons to it would only trivialize its mission: a band so unique it defies classification.
It’s human nature to classify and organize things into groups and subdivisions, but put on New Tones or their recent, one might say, magnum opus, Ghost Rock, and trying to classify or compare it to anything else on the musical map nowadays is next to impossible.
Songs like “My Dear,” “Ghost Rock” or “All the Stars” send you on a voyage through a melodic paradise. In fact, it’s recommended you listen to Ghost Rock under a blanket of stars to truly understand its concept and beauty.
Escape the city, sit under the stars and pop in Ghost Rock. You’ll find satisfaction only if you open your mind enough to envelope it.
Its instrumental nature might put off some, but if you favor music that isn’t bound to lyrics and give the loose, raw and unpredictable notes the chance to overcome your ears, you’ll uncover a treasure most leprechauns would envy the opportunity to protect.
Ghost Rock is currently available. Nomo will perform Aug. 3 at Spaceland, Silver Lake. For more information, visit www.nomomusic.com.