Nadja
"Desire in Uneasiness"

(Crucial Blast Records 2008)Nadja - Desire in Uneasiness

You've seen Pulp Fiction, I know you have. Remember that scene where John Travolta shoots up at Eric Stoltz's house, then drives around with a goofy, heroin-induced grin on his face? Well, it's too bad QT can't retroactively fit a cut from Nadja's "Desire in Uneasiness" into the soundtrack, because it would make the perfect companion piece to John's drugged out ride. You don't have to be blitzed, though, to enjoy these extended buzzing dirge jams. This is quality chill-out music for everyone, regardless of your intake of illicit substances.

The album is powered by the interplay between Aiden Baker and Leah Buckareff's bass guitars. They slather on lots of distortion, effects, and electronic touches to create a truly expansive wall of sound. Baker also chips in on drums, ditching Nadja's previous practice of using a drum machine. This adds to the explorative, organic nature of the music. The overall effect is impressive; a darkly pleasant soundscape where sugary waves of low end pulse like thick waves crashing on shores of rocky percussion. The album's five tracks all flow easily into each other to create a cohesive journey, from the blissful electronic haze of "Disambiguation" to "Deterritorialization"'s steady, climactic swell.

The best part of "Desire in Uneasiness" is that, like Vincent Vega on his way to an ill-fated date with Missus Wallace, it actually goes somewhere. Music-wise, there are few things that are more maddening than listening to an album that drifts in aimless circles without any sense of purpose or direction. Nadja could have let their drone, doom, and shoegaze influences pull them into that trap of boredom, but their music is always driven no matter how slow the pace or how circular the rhythms get. I'll be honest with you, I don't do drugs. But if I did, I would most definitely listen to this while I did my business.

A-

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