Musical darklings delight: Nine Inch Nails is returning with their first ever (long overdue) greatest hits package in the new year. Even better: it will feature new songs, marking the first new material Trent Reznor has released under the landmark NIN name since 2008′s The Slip. Whether marriage, fatherhood, or his Oscar-winning forays into movie soundtracking will massively impact his stately and sinister trademark sound remains to be heard. If How To Destroy Angels, the collaborative project Reznor helms alongside his wife Mariqueen Maandigal, Rob Sheridan, and Atticus Ross gives any indication through its latest EP An Omen, it seems he is whittling down his sonic rage into more elegant, conflicted ruminations. Whatever the case, we can expect that new NIN material will arrive in a sophisticated, and likely unexpected manner; this has become a Reznor staple.
Since 2007′s Year Zero concept era – a brilliant, underrecognized epoch which saw NIN bridge virtual reality, cryptology and puzzle solving with a politically-heated record – Reznor has been relentlessly cutting-edge in challenging his audience’s relationship to his music, including the ways in which they experience it. He continues to remain ahead of the curve, creating masterful release strategies that capitalize on both analog and digital media.
Now he’s taking those ideas further, and applying them to a more universal music experience. In an upcoming interview with The New Yorker, Reznor indicates he is working with Beats By Dre to develop a new intelligent streaming platform called ‘Daisy’. Think Spotify with a more intuitive cortex: ‘…What’s missing is a service that adds a layer of intelligent curation,’ he indicates. ‘That first wave of music presentation which felt magical, the one where the songs are chosen by algorithms that know who you listened to… has begun to feel synthetic’.