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NADJA - Dagdrom

Format: LP
Label & Cat.Number: Broken Spine Productions bsp06
Release Year: 2012
Note: feat. Mac McNeilly (JESUS LIZARD) on drums, mastered by JIM PLOTKIN, silk-screen cover
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €17.50

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"Dagdrm is Nadjas first proper full-length since their 2010 release Autopergamene (Essence Music) and, replacing their habitual drum machine, features live drums courtesy of Mac McNeilly from The Jesus Lizard. While Nadja retains their signature overblown sound and heavily distorted guitars, these songs are more concise and structured, tempering their experimentalism and ambience with a more straightforward rock sound and compositional style. As such, Dagdrm looks both forward and backa departure from Nadjas usual sound and style, it also harkens back to the noise rock scene of the 80s and early 90s and bands like Big Black, Caspar Brtzmann Massaker and, of course, The Jesus Lizard, all of whom were influential on Nadjas sonic development.

Originally from Toronto and currently based in Berlin, Aidan Baker (guitars, woodwinds, vocals, drum machine) and Leah Buckareff (bass, vocals, accordion) create music variously dubbed dream sludge, metalgaze and ambient doomatmospheric textures and elements of shoegaze, and experimental / ambient with the heaviness and volume of metal and noise. Nadja has released numerous recordings on Alien8 Recordings, Hydrahead, Southern Records, Robotic Empire and their own label, Broken Spine Productions (to name a few). The group has toured and performed extensively around the world, appearing at such diverse festivals as Incubate, SXSW, FIMAV, Roadburn and Unsound." [label info]

"We never thought we'd say this, but it's been a while since we've heard from Nadja! Two whole years in fact. There is a collaborative lp we're been meaning to review, but this is the first proper new full length since 2010's Autopergamene, and even if we were inclined to dismissively think "oh, another Nadja record", we throw it on, and are immediately reminded why we remain sort of Nadja obsessed.
Another collection of super distorted, darkly blissed out metalgaze perfection, this time the guitars sound even MORE distorted, crumbling and blurring into washed out smears of chordal gristle, and if that wasn't enough to get you excited about a new Nadja, howabout the fact that in place of the usual drum machine, is not other than Jesus Lizard drummer Mac McNeilly, who adds some human heft to the equation, making Nadja sound more like a real band, a fantastically blown out dirge metal slowcore band, the opener, a lurching super dynamic slab of dream doom bliss out, with hushed vocals, pounding drums, and the aforementioned gorgeous guitar crumble, even at 11 minutes it's still not nearly long enough.
The second track almost sounds like a Jesus Lizard song, a little bit Slinty too, with it's spidery minor key guitar part, you can imagine it recast as a burst of bombastic noise rock, but here, it becomes the framework for a cool, constantly shifting metallic blowout, which features some gorgeously hushed moments, but also Nadja at their most propulsive and rocking. The second half gets mathy, and again super dynamic, and it has us wishing Nadja had hooked up with Mcneilly long before now. The title track is epic slow burn Neur-Isis style heaviness, a sound that Nadja borrowed, and opted to reimagine and make their own instead of returning, and they continue to do it better than almost anyone else. Soaring and majestic and crumblingly heavy! Which leads into the closer, a 14 minute sprawl of tribal drumming, smoldering drones, blown out psychedelic noise, buried vox, all smeared into a shoegazey shimmer, which fades out midsong, leaving the second half spare and spaced out, a slowcore creep, with big drums driving swirling guitars, delicate melodies, and barely there vocals. So good. And well worth the wait." [Aquarius Records]