Thursday 23 October 2014

Nadja - Paradox - Live At Incubate 15.09.14 (Album Review)

Album Type: Album
Date Released: 20th Sept 2014
Label: Consouling Sounds

Nadja - Paradox - Live At Incubate 15.09.14

1. Paradox - Live At Incubate 15.09.14


Nadja is a duo of Aidan Baker & Leah Buckareff alternately based in Toronto, Canada & Berlin, Germany. Nadja originally began in 2003 as a solo project for Baker to explore the heavier/noisier side of his experimental/ambient guitar-based music. In 2005 Buckareff joined in order to make the project more than just a studio endeavour & allow Nadja to perform live.

Nadja creates music that has been variously described as drone metal, ambient doom, and shoegazer, combining soundscapes, electronics, & atmospheric vocals & tempering the cacophony with an ethereal melodicism such that the listener is enveloped in a sublimating wall of amorphous sound.


Aidan Baker (guitars, vocals, woodwinds, piano, drum programming)
Leah Buckareff (bass, vocals, violin)


Here’s an old cliché to kick off this review: you had to be there. This is especially important in the case of Nadja. A duo who specialise in experimental soundscapes, who push guitars in such overdriven fuzz directions that they can scarcely be called riffs anymore, and don’t so much write songs as compose alternative dream-like realities, you would have to be in their presence to gain the full benefit from all enveloping noise and the tactile sensations of guitars rattling your sternum. So with that proviso, we plunge in 'Paradox', and discover it’s a beauty.

On record they’re meticulous about their songwriting, never wasting an epic hanging chord, and Paradox shows they can translate that easily into the live arena, and even in the cold light of day through earphones they can absorb, mesmerise beguile and fascinate.

Like any live album, there’s always a balancing act between catching the best sound possible, while retaining enough grit so that it sounds authentic; whoever was on duty for Nadja can give themselves a damn huge pat on the back, as every tender feedback and fuzzy tone is captured perfectly. Halfway through, when they cede to the feedback and segue from all-enveloping drone into their finale it’s captured with crystal clear clarity, you’re still transfixed.

That’s the genius of Nadja – that mystical factor that keeps you hooked. Unlike the masochistic fascination of power that comes with a Sunno))) gig in addition to nausea and possibly needing to wear a nappy if you stand too close to the stacks, Nadja are rather more poetic and moving in ways that don’t involve symptoms of shellshock. As 'Paradox' draws to a close, you’re left with a feeling of profoundness. You might not have been to Incubate, but this is the next best thing.

Words by Steve R. Jones

Thanks to David at Viral Propaganda PR for the promo. Nadja - Paradox - Live At Incubate 15.09.14 will be available to buy now on Vinyl from Consouling Sounds.

For more information