Aidan Baker's side project Nadja has followed up their brilliant "Body Cages" disc with a split release alongside Methadrone on NOTHingness REcords. "Absorption" is a deep and dark disc filled with drones and distortion sure to appeal to fans of Nadja's earlier work.
Split between the two bands, "Absorption" opens with Nadja's long form piece "Absorbed in You", a feedback laden wall of sound that assaults the senses from the first note. It's an aggressive sound to be sure, but to say that this is just noise would be missing the point. Throughout the track sounds and phrases drift up, swelling in tone and then disappearing in the mix like so much flotsam and jetsam floating in the froth, "Save me..."
messages thrown out to sea. Eventually the sound shifts and breaks into a slight drone piece punctuated by sparse drumming and light guitar, a contrasting calm to the earlier storm, but still suggesting the same tension and drama as before. The track closes with a return to the same wall of sound from earlier, the suggestion that chaos is a more natural state than order. A truly fascinating and beautiful piece as one would expect from Baker and company.
Methadrone contributes four tracks to their share of the disc and while I've not heard any of their work before, I was quite impressed by them. "A View into the Empty" is a heavy guitar based track where power chords and sustained feedback create a very tense and disturbing environment. It's a very powerful piece, rather majestic.
"Absorbed" follows, a similar theme with more melodic elements, an engaging and hypnotic track that pulls you deep under it's spell. "Sustained Presence of Loss" and "Placebo (part 2)" round out the disc, equally dark pieces that envelop the listener in a shroud of feedback. Very appealing and very engaging work.
I've always enjoyed the idea of compilations and split releases, they give the listener a chance to enjoy new work by artists they're already familiar with, and to expose new artists that they may not already know. "Absorption" is a fine example of the charms inherent in compilations and an excellent place to discover some dark and heavy new sounds.
by Rik at Pink Things. Reprinted on Ambient Visions