Josef Nadek – Bluatig hårt


[Reviewed by stark]

Somewhere deep in the Alps the devils hide, witches kindle the fire under their cauldrons and shapeshifters are going hunting. Listening to the first minutes of the very short cassette by Josef Nadek reminds me of the brilliant Swiss film “Sennentuntschi”, which, depending on the interpretation can be seen as a drama or a horror movie. Josef Nadek is not Swiss, he comes from Austria, but it doesn’t change the fact that he can create this specific rustic-pagan-dark atmosphere in a very neat way.

I don’t know of the other releases by Josef. There were some of them, on different kinds of splits, EPs, both digital and physical – cassette or CDr. “Bluatig hårt” is a cassette EP, consisting of four compositions with a total duration of about twenty minutes. The rawness of this release strikes one from the very first contact with the tape, the cover with this mountain demon smiling warmly at us. Josef Nadek doesn’t enchant the listener with sophisticated passages or multi-layered, dense structures. It’s a simple music, sometimes almost clumsy, but having its unmistakable charm. Perhaps because I feel the distance to the whole concept, as the musician doesn’t treat it deadly serious.

It starts innocently, but at the same time quite effectively. It’s my favourite track of the album. “Wåldgeischta” is a deep ambient, where the sounds of Alpine nature and deep drones blend in a way that is reminiscent of a more severe version of Asmorod or rather its Middle East face, that is Kurotokage. Geographically different worlds. Musically, the understanding over the borders. “Nimma då” is a more ritual incarnation of Josef Nadek. A subtle, but surreal rhythm combined with formal asceticism makes quite an interesting impression. This music provokes some strange, subcutaneous anxiety. As if the sun is shining, the birds are singing, but this repulsive odour disturbs the idyll. The stench of decay coming from a nearby cave.

The B side is noisier. In “‘s wilde Gfåhr” he ventures into industrial areas often explored by projects from the Steinklang Records team. Without technical fireworks, but consistently and effectively. Later, this number transforms into “D’ Bluatig’n” which isn’t as “sophisticated” as the previous three tracks. It’s like a little calmer version of “‘s wilde Gfahr”, and I think it appealed to me the least on the entire tape.

This tape is obviously not about brilliance; Josef Nadek leaves virtuosity to the others. He narrates to the listener a short but intense legend straight from Alpine mythology, stripped of any romantic framing. Brutal and naturalistic, but maintained in a not entirely serious tone. It’s a bit like a chilling story told around the campfire by a local grandfather, holding a pint of beer in one hand and a large sausage in the other. A simple but charming thing.

Josef NadekBluatig hårt
Fall Into Void Recs, FIV – NMBR 63
MC EP 2014

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