Nathan Fake is a British electronic musician whose lush, moody recordings range from atmospheric tech-house to vivid, shoegaze-influenced downtempo.
The pastoral psychedelia of his 2006 debut album, Drowning in a Sea of Love, struck a chord with both critics and fans, gaining the producer a loyal following. His subsequent releases have generally been more uptempo and maintain a sense of urgency and spontaneity. Fake often restricts himself to hardware-based equipment and records tracks in a single take. After releasing his most experimental work, 2017's Providence, his 2020 full-length Blizzards contained some of his most immediate, club-friendly material.
Fake (his actual last name) began his career in the farm country of Norfolk in the U.K., where he learned how to play basic acoustic instruments before finding a love of the electronic genres. He moved to Reading at the age of 19, which gained his recordings significantly more exposure, and his demos found their way to producer/remixer/DJ James Holden. Holden immediately signed Fake to his Border Community imprint and released a set of 12"s (Outhouse and The Sky Was Pink) that put him on the global dance scale in terms of recognition. Fans from all electronic genres immediately took to Fake's distinctive sound (including luminaries like François K and Satoshi Tomiie), and his recordings began to be some of the most in demand of 2004.
Several 12"s on the Traum imprint followed in 2005, and Fake released his debut full-length, Drowning in a Sea of Love on Border Community, in March of 2006. Garnering favorable comparisons to Boards of Canada and Ulrich Schnauss, the album was a critical success, earning rave reviews from Pitchfork and Mixmag, among others. Drowning in a Sea of Remixes (featuring reworks by Apparat and Fairmont) followed, and Four Tet remixed album track "You Are Here" in 2007.
Fake subsequently moved to London, and his second album Hard Islands appeared in 2009. The album was significantly more stripped-down and club-friendly than his debut, but still demonstrated his talents for sophisticated sound design. Third full-length Steam Days, featuring singles "Paean" and "Iceni Strings," followed in 2012. The album retained the club-focused energy and rough edge of its predecessor, but its tracks generally had shorter running times, and were more focused and concise. Fake and Wesley Matsell started a label called Cambria Instruments in 2014, debuting with a split 12", followed by Fake's Glaive EP in 2015.
In 2016, Fake signed to Ninja Tune, having previously remixed Ninja Tune-signed artist Dorian Concept the previous year. Fake's first release for the label was Degreelessness, a collaboration with Prurient, which was issued at the tail-end of the year. Providence, Fake's most experimental full-length to date, appeared in March of 2017. This was followed by two Providence Reworks EPs and the more dancefloor-oriented Sunder EP, which appeared in 2018. Blizzards, Fake's fifth album, was a more propulsive set of hardware-based techno tracks influenced by the early rave and IDM scenes as well as folklore and spirituality. It was released in 2020 by Cambria Instruments. ~ Rob Theakston & Paul Simpson, Rovi