Numbness is an excellent collection of rarities and previously unreleased material from the increasingly prolific two-piece known as Nadja. Aidan Baker and Leah Buckeroff are nothing if not active and this release is not one of those for collectors only type releases for completists. In fact, Numbness contains what is arguably some of the groups best material. The six tracks that one may find on this album clock in at over an hour of the bands droned out, blissful sound.
There really is not a track that I find myself skipping over on this collection at any point, and this fact speaks to the quality of the songs, which it contains. Veil of Disillusion washes over listeners with its reverb drenched bass and swirling guitar sounds while ensnaring listeners in its sound; it is possible to get lost in the near constant hum that engulfs the aural space. Surely, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (yes, the old Christmas carol is wholly recognizable in its new form here) will bring a smile to the faces of even the most jaded individuals, and Time is Our Disease should suffice for those that are most interested in the heavier aspects of Nadja.
Still the two songs that continually knock my socks off is the previously unreleased Alien in My Own Skin and the download only piece, Numb; these are two of my personal favorite Nadja songs, and the fact that they are both on Numbness truly excites me. Alien in My Own Skin just strikes a real chord with me in its rumbling bass and driving rhythms as the higher tones create a nice counterpoint; Aidans vocals fit very well with the song to give it just the right sound to make it worth marking as an exemplary Nadja composition. The behemoth that is Numb ratchets Numbness up even higher in my personal regard, and, even though it was previously available as a free download, it is still a welcome addition on a physical release; the subtle melodies mixing with the bands recognizable sound make this one of the more impressive examples of the bands work.
Even though Numbness is a collection, it does not sound like one; there is a sense that all of these songs belong together as one listens to it, that they are an album in a very real sense. This record is one of my personal favorite releases from Baker and Buckeroff due to the inclusion of Numb and Alien In My Own Skin. Seeing as this record is an import, it may be a little difficult to acquire; but it is wholly worth doing so as it is an essential piece to any Nadja collection and possibly one of the better starting points if an individual wants to see what the group has to offer.
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Posted April 4, 2020, 10:38 a.m.
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Posted March 12, 2016, 5 p.m.
Sv, the latest from ambient/drone act Nadja is now streaming in its entirety over at Noisey. The album is 42 minutes long and releases officially on March 14.
Posted Oct. 18, 2015, 9:46 p.m.
Aidan Baker and has announced a run of dates this winter in Europe, both with his group Nadja and solo. Grab the dates below.
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