In the mid-'90s, a fresh batch of post-punk kids stumbled into the cheap vinyl bins at the record stores near their colleges and went home with $1.99 copies of albums by Tangerine Dream, Can, Kraftwerk, Hawkwind, and especially 1968-1972 Pink Floyd. After an exploratory group of bands went through lo-fi synth explorations (basically, just about everything that came out on Darla or Kranky between 1996 and 1999) and the cool, intellectual artsiness of the Chicago post-rock school, there grew a third stream of bands like Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, and the various offshoots of Godspeed You Black Emperor! The Timeout Drawer are very much part of this latter subgroup, but it's important to keep artists like Amp and Füxa in mind when listening to Nowonmai. In between the slowly cresting full-band explosions of sound, keyboardist Jason Goldberg lulls listeners with long stretches of spacy vintage-synth atmospherics, giving the album some much-needed textural variety. This wider approach largely bypasses the flaws of both approaches, all of which makes Nowonmai a more engaging record than many similar slabs of instrumental post-rock can manage.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason