Thursday, August 27, 2009
Nadja - Desire In Uneasiness
Nadja (Aidan Baker and Leah Buckareff) are Doomgazers, uniting the navelgazing aesthetic of the most solipsistic shoegaze to the crushing Doom atmospherics of Khanate and early Cathedral. The result is sheer miasmic beauty.
"Deep beneath the layers of the “business as usual” fuzz and gloom of Canada’s favorite doom-drone outfit Nadja lies the key ingredient to the success of their latest full-length album: straight up emotion.
2008’s Desire In Uneasiness contains all new material (following a string of reissues and re-recorded CD-R titles of older material) and is released in a beautiful gatefold jacket by Crucial Blast Records. As a departure from Nadja’s previous electronic beat-driven releases, Desire… features Jakob Thiesen on live drums, which has helped further Nadja’s musical explorations from incessant to existential. The fresh live atmosphere on this record has helped core members Aidan Baker and Leah Buckareff reach new sonic heights and implement a newly found emotional core, which sets this record apart from previous releases.
For a lack of a better word, this album is simply beautiful. Nadja blend hypnotic crash-rhythms with an almost jazzy decadence, delivered in a way that is utterly enthralling to listen to. The dirty fuzz-bass orchestration of Aidan and Leah adds bleak familiarity over a mound of hopeful subtext. And though they may never make another record like this again, Nadja have definitely embraced their honesty, stubbornness, patience, and reluctant beauty.
“Disambiguation”, the album opener, is an elegiac lament that slowly sets the tone for the procession to follow. Nadja seamlessly guide us through their thematic on-record development, as they slowly inject their synthesis and expression. Tracks on Desire In Uneasiness range from seven to eighteen minute suites, filled with dense ambient-doom sludge, and while past Nadja records have included vocals, this release intelligently remains instrumental. This helps keep the focus on some of the most interesting soundscape work to date. I can’t stress how good of a Nadja record this actually is. A defiant “must-have” for any true fan of the group, or anyone interested in the genre(s) altogether.
There is no question that this release, and all other previous Nadja efforts, is an acquired taste. Those who like it REALLY like it, and those who don’t… well, it’s pretty safe to say that Nadja will do just fine without you. Desire In Uneasiness made a believer out of me!"- Justin Gray