Review Summary: Nadja strikes us with the most dense release in their impressive catalogue.
One 1 hour lasting song takes you away on a journey beyond comparison.
Unique and powerful, take of your shoes and let Nadja massage your spirit.
Everyone has heard stories of near-death experiences.
A long dark tunnel with the brightest white light at the end.
But all this aside, it’s always a choice of following the bright white light and meeting your death or going back to earth and put your spirit back into your body.
But what would happen if we didn’t have these choices and the tunnel would be your ’world’? You would hear the angelic hymns coming from the bright side of the tunnel and the dark whispers of the mortal life on the other side of the tunnel. The sounds from both ends keeps on resonating for an eternity in the tunnel, mixing the angelic, and dark sounds into an all covering wall of sound. The soundtrack of your life. Now, this is Nadja.
To bring it back to some more abstract terms, Nadja creates ambient drone.
The genre is very small and quite unknown. Nadja operates in the same terrain as Jesu, but with a totally unique sound, and has been doing so since 2002 . Where as the sound of Jesu can be rather mechanic and still has hints of the industrial days, Nadja is way more organic.
This release by Nadja released in 2007 is a real mammoth, clocking in at 61 minutes and 49 seconds, you’re in for a long ride. A song, or even a CD of this length may scare away some of you, but really, it fits, and everything is there for a reason. Nadja has created a very hypnotic release and the densest release so far in their catalogue. While earlier Nadja releases (which have just seen a re-mastering btw ), loose some atmosphere because of the production, this release is perfect. Every buzz and fuzz can be heard clearly and layer of layer of ultra sonic rumbling creates a true mammoth. The distorted ultra low sounds created by the guitars and synths are so overwhelming. Maybe a bit too overwhelming for beginners. But don’t let this gem pass you by because it’s too overwhelming. Cause actually the CD starts of very underwhelming. Some nice synth noises, accompanied by lightly strummed acoustic guitar fill the first 5 minutes of the disc, after that you’ll hear it building towards an climax and the o so crunchy guitars come in.
The feeling of this is like slowly being submerged in a nice warm bath, now isn’t that enjoyabl? Because of course, we mustn’t forget that this is still AMBIENT drone and not the dark drone side brought to us by Sunn O))) and companions. After a while you feel like you’re completely heads under water and the waves created by the water are the ’beat’ of the song. But how long can you keep your breath? At about the 20 minute mark you feel like you’re getting kicked out of your trance because the wall of sound is gone and all of the sudden a very minimalistic strumming takes over. But not for too long, cause it slowly build up again and after a while you’ll be surrounded by sound again. The forever repeated riff that starts at 35 minutes is so addictive. After being devoured by this monster riff, you’ll have a short break before slowly building up to the most dens part of the song. The song now feels more like being submerged in mercury then into water. At the end of this explosion you’ll be given the choice: following the white light at one side or the earthly existence at the other side?
You choose, but at least your journey has been spectacular.
Even though Nadja creates ambient music, this isn’t per say easy listening and will take some time before it sinks in. Whether you like this release or not, you can’t deny that Aidan* Baker (Nadja in reverse, but spelled with a J instead of I) and Leah Buckareff have created a dense release filled with great ideas. The music keeps smashing boundaries of what is music and what is ambient and therefore gives a very interesting look into the mind of the mastermind behind the project, Aidan Baker: dark, brooding and complicated.