Nadja – Thaumobungled

[Reviewed by stark]

This is a live recording of Nadja performance in Santiago, Chile in 2013. As you know, Nadja is a Canadian duo, consisting of Aidan Baker and Leah Buckareff. Undoubtly they worked out their own, unique style in this project, the style which may be unacceptable or rather unassimilable to many; as their drone/doom soundscapes are based on harsh and distorted guitars and low tuned bass crawling slowly and devouring everything along the way.This is however just one side of the coin. The other is that paradoxically their music often has a soothing and calming character and if you get rid of prejudices, you’ll notice a heavenly element in these sounds, beautiful melodies and touching atmospheres are hidden beneath the outwardly brutal wall of sound.

The tape version of the recording has just been released by Templo Sagital label from Chile. If you’re familiar with Nadja, you may suspect the content of the tape only by seeing the title, “Thaumobungled” as the side A contains “Thaumogenesis”, while side B is “The Bungled And The Botched”. Though you need to keep in mind that these are the edited, shortened versions of both “songs”. “Thaumogenesis” is 30 minutes long, it’s half its original length. So don’t expect that you’ll hear exactly the same music as on their studio albums.

And how does it sound, you may ask. Well, raw. Raw but powerful. I suppose it was slightly mastered, but you still feel that primal energy, they are definitely heavier than on the records, heavier and slower. Is it worth buying? If you’re Nadja fan, obviously it’s a mandatory purchase. But if you want to begin your adventure with the project, you should try the original versions first, because since “The Bungled…” still has a somewhat clear structure and you can hear the melody here or there, “Thaumogenesis” is a harsh and distorted monument of guitar noise. This is Nadja in its most atavistic form.

NadjaThaumobungled
Templo Sagital
MC/Digital 2021

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