Nadja – Base Fluid

As Jesu edges closer and closer to pop accessibility, Nadja is quickly asserting itself as one of the finest guitar-drone bands out there. With a string of several acclaimed albums (mainly “Body Cage” and the recently released “Thaumogenesis”), the duo of Aidan Baker (prolific multi-instrumentalist) and Leah Buckareff (Canadian bookbinder) continue to improve on their gigantic epics of albums. This EP showcases a song off of their upcoming album, “Corrasion”, as well as an exclusive, unreleased track (of a seemingly recent vintage). The album itself is a re-recording of one of their many extremely-limited CD-R releases (following their recent re-recording of their “Touched” album), as well as including a few bonus tracks, including one from an instantly sold-out split between them and doom-metal band Moss (which should please fans of both bands).

The “Base Fluid” release is also special in the fact that it is offered as a FREE download on Foreshadow Records website (which also will eventually release a Nadja / Fear Falls Burning collaboration). This is somewhat noteworthy, as while Aidan Baker has many releases available online, there is much less Nadja material able to be previewed. Thus, this comes as a welcome addition to their mostly unavailable/sold-out discography.

So, what should you expect from this EP? While it is not a significant departure from any of their other releases, it is still quite good. The first song, “Base Fluid”, is from the upcoming album. Featuring crushingly distorted cyclical guitar riffs that move about a snails-pace dirge along with soaring extended guitar soloing (also quite slow) and pounding drums. At various points in the song, the guitar/bass assault drops away to reveal delicate ambient sections, featuring softly hovering ambience and a gradually unfolding clean guitar passage. However, these ambient sections, while having a beauty of their own, only serve to throw you off your guard, as the main segments of the song come roaring back with a vengeance (most likely startling the listener the first time they hear it). “Numb” is slightly longer, at twenty minutes, and features a greater use of distortion, synthetic effects, and the guitars are a bit more distorted (which is both good and bad in a way). Do not expect any interludes on this track. Instead, the guitars trudge forth with a determined persistence, but as the song progresses, a number of light synth beds quickly accumulate towards the second half of the song. Imagine the slowest (but largest) tornado you have ever seen. Now imagine that the various synth lines are the many pieces of debris this tornado picks up, swirling them around the mix. It continues to come closer and closer to your home, gradually increasing in intensity as you grow increasingly intimidated. By the time it gets to the twentieth minute, it is almost as if the instruments are about ready to explode (thankfully the song stops before they or your head explodes).

If you are new to Nadja, by all means check this EP out. Then, a proper introduction would be their “Body Cage”, “Thaumogenesis”, or aforementioned “Corrasion” album. Those already acquainted with the band will also find elements of interest in this release (mainly in the unreleased track, even though the “Base Fluid” song is slightly better in terms of quality).

Now, if only they would re-release the Nadja / Methadrone collab…

Nadja – Base Fluid EP at Foreshadow Records
Nadja Home Page
Foreshadow Records
Alien8 Recordings
Profound Lore Records

~ by John Lithium on July 2, 2007.

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