With his soundtrack of subtle electronic glitches, strings and guitar-driven melancholy, Christopher Stoll, a.k.a. Nitrada, has created a reclusive-sounding and introspective record. We Don’t Know Why But We Do It originated from Stoll’s basement studio in Hamburg. To brighten up his self-imposed solitude, Stoll drafted a series of collaborators from across the European continent. The result is Stoll’s basic outline augmented by fresh external ideas and mixed on an ancient analogue desk, adding warmth to the largely electronic compositions.
“Old Love, New Idea” is reminiscent of Squarepusher’s “Port Rhombus” — frantic, syncopated breakbeats float over a layer of sweeping, cinematic strings, creating a challenging but functional contrast. “Fading Away” features the near-whispered vocals of collaborator Kaye Brewster over layers of subtle pops and glitches and anchored by a faint guitar line. The album concludes with the lovely “Start Today,” a melancholy guitar piece that gradually intensifies with layers of strings, showing a sliver of restrained optimism to puncture the grey Hamburg skies.