Nadja - Excision [Important Records - 2012]Nadja are an extremely prolific act, collaborating with artists far and wide as well as releasing a plethora of solo material, this particular release is essentially a compilation of tracks lifted from vinyl releases and splits over the years and presented in double CD format on Important Records.
Clocking in at just shy of two and half hours of material, this will keep the most hardened fan entertained, whilst offering a solid introduction to the curious listener. Each track presented sits around the 20 minute mark, each one of them lifted from an out or print release from between 2007 and 2009, so they can be heard and enjoyed as intended. Trying to go over a track by track analysis would be fruitless, but for the un-initiated, Nadja specialise in a more ethereal form of drone/doom, not sticking to the general formulae associated with the metal scene in general and choosing to carve their own particular niche, drifting between harsher more noise based excursions and gentle, meditative drones.
The music contained within is certainly not 'harsh' in the very sense of the word, challenging yes, but the moods and atmospheres Nadja conjure up are very soothing and cathartic, drawing you deeper under their spell with each monolithic chord stroke and meticulously crafted feedback manipulation. The main duo of Aidan Baker & Leah Buckareff have become mainstays of the drone scene over the years since the inception of the Nadja project and these select, long lost pieces provide an exemplary display of musicianship and highlight their ability to weave and texture sounds with an ease which is rarely seen these days.
The tracks are vast in scope, moving from the industrial squall of 'Kriplyana' to the morose and sparse reflectivness of closing piece 'Clinging to the Edge of the Sky' via the intensity of 'Kitsune (Fox Drone)' - Nadja paint an achingly beautiful and dark landscape, one that you can lose yourself in completely and enjoy every second of it. Probably not the most 'listener friendly' of compilations, relying on the listener investing a lot of energy (and time!) into the work on display, but the effort will yield satisfying rewards...track it down whilst you can!Todd Robinson