Review of Nadja’s new release: Dagdrøm

Nadja offers up a sludge-post-rock dreamscape

A perfect winter album, Dagdrøm is dark, ominous and fuzzy. Nadja releases a true to form ambient sludge-rock album as their first full length LP since the 2010  Autopergamene. Aidan Baker  and Leah Buckareff – originally from Toronto and now based in Berlin, combine talents with The Jesus Lizard’s Mac McNeilly. Dagdrøm features McNeilly to his full potential, easing away from the drum machine in favour of his well suited percussion styles.

Not unlike a long, cold walk in the late darkness of a January morning, Dagdrøm pushes the listener into it and encourages imagined dangers. The beauty of this fuzzy, drone esque sludge-rock album is the technicality and instrumentation, holding the listener spell bound. It moves through each track as if they are movements. The album itself is suspenseful. “One Sense Alone” is heavy, until those last few minutes when it softens and lulls you into a (false?) sense of security – the kind of security you imagine you might have after defeating some adrenaline causing spook . Only to know that it won’t be long before another one floats into your radar.

There is a lot of deep dark something-ness to Nadja usually, and the more structured nature of this release only amplifies that. You feel something is coming. It excites you as much as it concerns you. There is a somewhat dangerous feeling to Dagdrøm. Like when it is gets very cold and very dark all too early. The title track is a heavy mix of almost over bearing layers of noise and fuzz. “Space Time and Absence” finishes the album – a warm light after the long walk. Yellow and burning in a space not so distant.

Nadja makes sense for Berlin – or at least for the romanticized visuals of living in punk squats and writing drone-rock. Dagdrøm makes just as much sense for these dark Canadian winters. Where temperatures get equally unbearable and exhilarating. A really interesting album that rockets the listener away from those shiny summer tunes into a darkly beautiful reality.

Order it for yourself here.

Originally published on nmc.ca for New Release Tuesday on November 6, 2012. 

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