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IMPORTANT (Please read to avoid confusion):
Some items below may be tagged with a bold, red, all-caps "out of print/unavailable" notice. This does NOT mean that all other items not so tagged are, in fact, in stock -- or for that matter, in print and available, though there's a good chance they are. Some folks get confused on this point, and we can see why, so please read this for further clarification and other important before-you-order information. Unlike some mailorder websites, we don't have an electronic inventory system linked to our site, so you can't be sure of what we actually have or don't have in stock at any given moment without asking us -- please email our mailorder department for availability status -- or better yet, just go ahead and place your order using our shopping cart function and we'll get back to you with the status of each item. If you have general non-mailorder questions, email the store.


album cover N.E.R.D. Seeing Sounds (Star Trak) cd 14.98

N.E.R.D. Fly Or Die (Virgin) cd 16.98

album cover N.E.R.D. In Search of... (Virgin France) cd 16.98
Finally available domestically (at a cheap price, for now anyway), this record should be of interest even to the folks who bought the import version, cos N.E.R.D. re-recorded their debut with a live band instead of all samples and pro-tools. It's actually not all that different, but the idea is interesting, and they supposedly decided to do it that way after working with No Doubt! N.E.R.D. (whose name stands for "noone ever really dies") also produce albums under the name the Neptunes. They've worked with Ol' Dirty Bastard, Mystikal ("Shake Ya Ass"), and Jay-Z. And 'Lapdance', the first track, does not disappoint. Funky, with super distorted synth-bass lines, cool gruff delivery that slips into old school soul falsetto, weird soaring fake strings and nasty female vocals. Unfortunately the rest of the record doesn't quite live up to the promise of the first track. Not to say it's a bad record, but the first track was such a knockout, we were just sort of hoping this would be the hip hop record of the year. But as it is, it's just a pretty decent soul/hip hop record, with cool staccato Timbaland-style rhythms throughout, simple rhymes, diva vocal choruses, and funky hiccuping bass. Not bad, but that first track destroys! Almost worth the price of admission.
RealAudio clip: "Lapdance"
RealAudio clip: "Things Are Getting Better"

album cover N.I.L. s/t (Battle Kommand) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Brand new disc from Imperial, who for the last 12 or so years has been spewing a gorgeously grim and noxious black buzz under the banner of Krieg. As well as contributing his own black brand to BM super group Twilight (along with Wrest from Leviathan, Hildolf from Draugar and Blake from Nachtmystium) We were sort of just expecting more kvlt Kriegish blackness, which would have been fine, we dug the last Krieg big time, and in some ways, much of this does sound like a continuation of Krieg, but in other ways it's definitely a whole 'nother sort of blackened beast.
N.I.L is much more minimal and drone-y, augmenting the usual bass, guitar and drums with some seriously non-black metal instruments like mandolin and Tibetan Singing Bowl, creating slow moving black sonic blurs, reminding us much more of Xasthur than Krieg, each song basically a single riff, repeated mantra-like, smeared into hypnotic and mesmerizing, drawn out and murky doomic black dirges.
There are a few fast tracks, and those definitely sound more like Krieg, blasting and furious, swirling and chaotic, raw, primitive black metal brutality, but it's the slower tracks that make this record so weird and cool, from the haunting opening, wrapped in record crackle, a simple acoustic guitar weaving a mournful and melancholy dark folk melody, to the gorgeously fuzz drenched Burzumic plod of "Here I Found No Shelter" to the depressive miserablist strum of "Serpent Circle" to the gorgeous washed out Xasthur meets Katatonia style black epic that is "Negative Frequency Entity", and let's not forget a killer, and fairly straight, cover of Big Black's "Bad Houses", the only real difference being buzzier guitars, and the growled demonic vocals, but what a classic riff, malevolent and dramatic and so goddamn catchy, and yet somehow it meshes perfectly with the bleak black buzz of the rest of the record...
MPEG Stream: "Plague Doors Rusted Shut"
MPEG Stream: "Here I Found No Shelter"
MPEG Stream: "I Quenched My Thirst With Dust"

album cover N.M.S. (NEPHLIM MODULATION SYSTEMS) Woe To Thee O Land Whose King Is A Child (Big Dada) cd 13.98
Big Jus of Company Flow and West Coast hip hop underground legend Orko the Sycotik Alien got together to record some of the most damaged, outer space, free form hip hop ever, but in the process, were so bombarded by news about Bush and the war that the record turned into a sort of protest letter, albeit, an abstract, psychotic, grinding, lurching one! This is maybe the ultimate in abstract hip hop, taking the unlikely sampling and unfunky beats of Anticon and the rapid-fire, tongue-twisting delivery of the modern crop of experimental hip hoppers to its logical extreme. Shimmery, finger picked guitars reverberate into a sitar-like mantra over spare, skittery beats while the flow is stumbling and drawled, stuttering and staccatto, dreamy jazzy pianos float beneath a super distorted slow motion breakbeat, protest chants are chopped and mixed into a thick mix of sweeping synths and crunchy galloping beats. Add in the wicked non-stop flow, dexterously weaving and bobbing, dodging bursts and beats, riding on waves of rumble and fuzz, and their RIGHT ON anti-Bush manifesto (there's even an ode to the pretzel that came so close, but ultimately failed to off the prez!) and you may just have the one of the most impotant underground hip hop records of the year. DEFINITELY for fans of Cloudead, Sage Francis, El-P, Cannibal Ox, Antipop Consortium and all that sort of stuff.
MPEG Stream: "Angels That Fell From Grace And Mixed With The Daughters Of Men"
MPEG Stream: "Aliens That Brought Art, Music, Science, Technology, And Religion To Earth"
MPEG Stream: "To Vary The Tone Or Intensity"

album cover N.O.I.A. Unreleased Classics, '78-'82 (Ersatz Audio) cd 12.98
Well if it's "unreleased", how can it be a "classic"? While we're still scratching our heads about the title, the music of N.O.I.A. fits comfortably within that 'classic' new wave / electro sound from the early '80s that has undergone a surprisingly durable revival over the past four or five years. So forget all the bandwagon jumpers, check out the real deal from folks who were there when the wagon rolled around the first time and this stuff was really fresh and exciting. The scant information we've found about N.O.I.A. reveals they were -- or rather, are -- an Italian synth-pop group who formed in '78 but only signed to a record label in 1983, releasing several singles in '85 but nothing much since -- until now.
This album collects their earliest compositions -- all re-recorded by a reformed N.O.I.A. in 2000. Using pre-fab synths, N.O.I.A. shapes terse interlocking melodies with mechanical rhythms, ample arpeggiation, and vocoded vocals, drawing obvious comparisons to Devo, Kraftwerk, early Human League, and really early Front 242 (esp. 'No Comment' era). They're quite successful at it to boot. Try NOT to dance -- or smile -- to this stuff. Presented with pride on electro-darlings Adult.'s label, Ersatz Audio, who claim N.O.I.A. as a huge influence.
RealAudio clip: "Korowa Milk Bar"
RealAudio clip: "Hunger In The East"

album cover N.RACKER Flock Intoxicant (Pre-Cert Home Entertainment) lp 22.00
The latest weirdo outsider electronic offering from the Pre-Cert Home Entertainment label, run by Demdike Stare and Andy Votel, comes from the mysterious N. Racker, supposedly a pseudonym for someone too famous to actually name, but who can tell with Pre-Cert's predilection for misinformation. Regardless, this is a good one, maybe our favorite Pre-Cert jam yet, ostensibly based on "an imagined alternative history of a sinister, pre-industrial pestilence among the ovine population and the people who work in wool processing, ending in complete devastation and dereliction" and sounding like a cross between "SUNNO))), The Haxan Cloak and Morricone/Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza", we can't speak to the subject matter, but the sonic description is really not that far off.
Moaning scraped strings underpin abstract percussion and mournfully melodic shimmer, which bleeds into some seriously creepy lullaby like melodies, that immediately remind us of the theme from Resident Evil, creepy and cinematic, more moaning strings, totally ominous horror movie music, with some awesome bursts of thick distorted buzz, that almost becomes krautrocky at one point. The A side ends with some droned out drift, all buzz and static and squelch.
The flipside introduces some more creeped out orchestral shimmer, lots of low end and some Morricone-ish melodies, grinding cello buzz and lumbering bass thrum, which splinters into some super abstract musique concrete, sapced out and spare, a dark sprawl of abstract ambience that slowly sinks into some woozy warped underwater burble, laced with tinkling chains, and gauzey swirls of sinister shimmer.
LIMITED TO 700 COPIES.

N.W.A. Straight Outta Compton (Capitol) cd 12.98

N.W.A. Straight Outta Compton (Priority) 2lp 23.00

album cover NA HAWA DOUMBIA La Grande Cantatrice Malienne Vol 3 (Awesome Tapes From Africa) cd 13.98
And as promised, now here in stock on cd and vinyl as well as cassette (listed a few weeks back)!
One evening back in early 2012 for a couple hours, we hosted an instore DJ performance by this nice fellow Brian Shimkovitz who runs the celebrated Awesome Tape From Africa blog. He brought in several cases full of rare cassettes from his collection, and they were indeed awesome! Groovy stuff from all over the continent.
His blogging and DJing activities have also now spawned a reissue label.
For this first Awesome Tape From Africa, he's selected an obscure recording from the Ivory Coast, circa 1982, by female Malinese singer Na Hawa Doumbia. It says Vol. 3 in the title, presumably it was Brian's favorite of Na Hawa Doumbia's La Grande Cantatrice Malienne tapes. If you were here for his DJing, or have ever checked out the stuff on his blog, you know it's gonna be good! Full of tumbling drum-heavy rhythms, pierced by Doumbia's higher register vocals, sometimes impressively soaring, singing these "diadai" dances. Joyful in sound, but also full of cautionary warnings about betrayal and other misfortune.
MPEG Stream: "Koro Dia (a Mamaye Drame L'inoubliable)"
MPEG Stream: "Kungo Sonogi"

album cover NA HAWA DOUMBIA La Grande Cantatrice Malienne Vol 3 (Awesome Tapes From Africa) lp 15.98
And as promised, now here in stock on cd and vinyl as well as cassette (listed a few weeks back)!
One evening back in early 2012 for a couple hours, we hosted an instore DJ performance by this nice fellow Brian Shimkovitz who runs the celebrated Awesome Tape From Africa blog. He brought in several cases full of rare cassettes from his collection, and they were indeed awesome! Groovy stuff from all over the continent.
His blogging and DJing activities have also now spawned a reissue label.
For this first Awesome Tape From Africa, he's selected an obscure recording from the Ivory Coast, circa 1982, by female Malinese singer Na Hawa Doumbia. It says Vol. 3 in the title, presumably it was Brian's favorite of Na Hawa Doumbia's La Grande Cantatrice Malienne tapes. If you were here for his DJing, or have ever checked out the stuff on his blog, you know it's gonna be good! Full of tumbling drum-heavy rhythms, pierced by Doumbia's higher register vocals, sometimes impressively soaring, singing these "diadai" dances. Joyful in sound, but also full of cautionary warnings about betrayal and other misfortune.
MPEG Stream: "Koro Dia (a Mamaye Drame L'inoubliable)"
MPEG Stream: "Kungo Sonogi"

album cover NA HAWA DOUMBIA La Grande Cantatrice Malienne Vol 3 (Awesome Tapes From Africa) cassette 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
One evening earlier this week, for a couple hours, we hosted an instore DJ performance by this nice fellow Brian Shimkovitz who runs the celebrated Awesome Tape From Africa blog. He brought in several cases full of rare cassettes from his collection, and they were indeed awesome! Groovy stuff from all over the continent.
His blogging and DJing activities have also now spawned a reissue label, and when he was here we grabbed a few copies of his debut release, on cassette of course - though it's also out on cd and vinyl, and we should get some of those eventually too. But the limited edition cassettes are what he had with him. It is Awesome TAPES From Africa after all!!
For this first Awesome Tape From Africa, he's selected an obscure recording from the Ivory Coast, circa 1982, by female Malinese singer Na Hawa Doumbia. It says Vol. 3 in the title, presumably it was Brian's favorite of Na Hawa Doumbia's La Grande Cantatrice Malienne tapes. If you were here for his DJing, or have ever checked out the stuff on his blog, you know it's gonna be good! Full of tumbling drum-heavy rhythms, pierced by Doumbia's higher register vocals, sometimes impressively soaring, singing these "diadai" dances. Joyful in sound, but also full of cautionary warnings about betrayal and other misfortune.
Comes with download code!

album cover NABAY, AHMED JANKA Bubu King (True Panther Sounds) 12" 9.98

NABAY, JANKA & THE BUBU GANG An Letah (True Panther) 12" 10.98

album cover NACHIKETA Good Night Persimmon (ESO) cd-r 4.98
Our (and perhaps your) introduction to the Bay Area artist Nachiketa comes in the form of a 52 minute instrumental track titled Good Night Persimmon. Nachiketa takes us through gentle, hushed passages that ebb and flow with string plucks, lulling drones and an occasional mist of staticky flutters. Calming loveliness.
MPEG Stream: "Excerpt 1"

NACHMYSTIUM Silencing Machine (Century Media) cd 14.98

album cover NACHTMYSTIUM Addicts: Black Meddle Pt.2 (Century Media) cd 14.98
Within the last few years we have witnessed Chicago's Nachtmystium evolve from a grim exercise in nihilistic, kvlt as fuck black metal to a group that seems to be completely ignoring the accepted rules of the genre and pretty much surpassing all the competition. It would be flat out stupid to deny the blackness on display here, and yet it is so much more than just a black metal album. We've always loved Blake Judd and his cohorts (featuring here, in addition to long time guitarist Jeff Wilson and synth lord Sanford Parker, Will Lindsay of Wolves In The Throne Room and the incomparable Wrest of Leviathan on drums) but with the release of Addicts: Black Meddle Pt.2, it is now abundantly clear that they are one of the best metal bands in operation. The songs venture all over the place, never failing to surprise with their unique structures and brutal instrumentation, and the greatest success here is the fact that these are, get ready: some of the catchiest, blackest, and most psychedelic POP SONGS we have heard in forever. This album is just as amazing as the recent Twilight record, and not surprisingly, three of the players had a hand in that as well. And while Twilight caused some jaws to drop with things like emo breakdowns and beautiful choral vocals, the sick minds in Nachtmystium have found even more ways to astonish. Oh, and it's a bit of a concept album about, you guessed it, the fun and timeless subject of drug addiction.
Beginning with intro "Cry For Help", in which creepy, guttural voices spell out a negative statement (we won't ruin it for you) that sets the tone for the album over echoed drumbeats, the band then kicks into "High On Hate", a thick whirlwind of classic black metal riffs flying around some darkened vortex. It's melodic and catchy, but also terrifying and uncompromising, and Judd's vocals are as killer and harsh as always. It's surprising how many interesting ideas Nachtmystium is capable of injecting (ha!) into their songs, which take you on a crazy black metal journey in generally 5 minutes or less. Nothing here is formulaic, especially the next number, "Nightfall". Your first reaction will be along the lines of, "Holy fuck! Is that a tambourine?" It is, and by the end of the song Nachtmystium has also thrown in an awesome woah-woah gang vocals (wonder if they're Naked Raygun fans, being from Chicago and all) and a giant classic rock guitar solo. You may wonder where they can take things next, but then they hit you with the biggest mindfuck on the album, "No Funeral", which will be described as "new wave black metal" until a better term comes to light. The song is carried by Parker's spacey synth melody and a heavy industrial dance beat that is so damn poppy we kinda can't believe it. There's some mind altering progginess on display, like on "Blood Trance Fusion," but thankfully things never get too academic or concerned with shit like time signatures. Instead, synths squiggle like parasites worming through your veins and blast beats jolt you out of your trance as the band holds things down like it's what they were born to do. "Ruined Life Continuum" resurrects the, um, new wave black metal we heard earlier, another too catchy to ignore number, before ending on a suitably bleak note with "Every Last Drop", where acoustic guitars and throat singing are consumed by a lumbering dirge and some soaring clean vocals courtesy of Yakuza's Bruce Lamont. When the sounds of an oscillating synth note bring Addicts to a close, you will probably be just as blown away as we were.
So yeah, once again, these guys have furthered the cause and raised the bar higher for anyone who thinks they are up for the task of making black metal in 2010 and beyond. If there's a Part 3 in the works, we're down for it, if not, we can't wait to see what Nachtmystium cooks up next.
MPEG Stream: "High On Hate"
MPEG Stream: "Nightfall"
MPEG Stream: "No Funeral"

album cover NACHTMYSTIUM Addicts: Black Meddle Pt.2 (Century Media) 2lp 15.98
NOW ALSO HERE ON DOUBLE GATEFOLD VINYL!!
Within the last few years we have witnessed Chicago's Nachtmystium evolve from a grim exercise in nihilistic, kvlt as fuck black metal to a group that seems to be completely ignoring the accepted rules of the genre and pretty much surpassing all the competition. It would be flat out stupid to deny the blackness on display here, and yet it is so much more than just a black metal album. We've always loved Blake Judd and his cohorts (featuring here, in addition to long time guitarist Jeff Wilson and synth lord Sanford Parker, Will Lindsay of Wolves In The Throne Room and the incomparable Wrest of Leviathan on drums) but with the release of Addicts: Black Meddle Pt.2, it is now abundantly clear that they are one of the best metal bands in operation. The songs venture all over the place, never failing to surprise with their unique structures and brutal instrumentation, and the greatest success here is the fact that these are, get ready: some of the catchiest, blackest, and most psychedelic POP SONGS we have heard in forever. This album is just as amazing as the recent Twilight record, and not surprisingly, three of the players had a hand in that as well. And while Twilight caused some jaws to drop with things like emo breakdowns and beautiful choral vocals, the sick minds in Nachtmystium have found even more ways to astonish. Oh, and it's a bit of a concept album about, you guessed it, the fun and timeless subject of drug addiction.
Beginning with intro "Cry For Help", in which creepy, guttural voices spell out a negative statement (we won't ruin it for you) that sets the tone for the album over echoed drumbeats, the band then kicks into "High On Hate", a thick whirlwind of classic black metal riffs flying around some darkened vortex. It's melodic and catchy, but also terrifying and uncompromising, and Judd's vocals are as killer and harsh as always. It's surprising how many interesting ideas Nachtmystium is capable of injecting (ha!) into their songs, which take you on a crazy black metal journey in generally 5 minutes or less. Nothing here is formulaic, especially the next number, "Nightfall". Your first reaction will be along the lines of, "Holy fuck! Is that a tambourine?" It is, and by the end of the song Nachtmystium has also thrown in an awesome woah-woah gang vocals (wonder if they're Naked Raygun fans, being from Chicago and all) and a giant classic rock guitar solo. You may wonder where they can take things next, but then they hit you with the biggest mindfuck on the album, "No Funeral", which will be described as "new wave black metal" until a better term comes to light. The song is carried by Parker's spacey synth melody and a heavy industrial dance beat that is so damn poppy we kinda can't believe it. There's some mind altering progginess on display, like on "Blood Trance Fusion," but thankfully things never get too academic or concerned with shit like time signatures. Instead, synths squiggle like parasites worming through your veins and blast beats jolt you out of your trance as the band holds things down like it's what they were born to do. "Ruined Life Continuum" resurrects the, um, new wave black metal we heard earlier, another too catchy to ignore number, before ending on a suitably bleak note with "Every Last Drop", where acoustic guitars and throat singing are consumed by a lumbering dirge and some soaring clean vocals courtesy of Yakuza's Bruce Lamont. When the sounds of an oscillating synth note bring Addicts to a close, you will probably be just as blown away as we were.
So yeah, once again, these guys have furthered the cause and raised the bar higher for anyone who thinks they are up for the task of making black metal in 2010 and beyond. If there's a Part 3 in the works, we're down for it, if not, we can't wait to see what Nachtmystium cooks up next.
MPEG Stream: "High On Hate"
MPEG Stream: "Nightfall"
MPEG Stream: "No Funeral"

album cover NACHTMYSTIUM Assassins: Black Meddle Part 1 (Century Media) cd 13.98
Illinois' "psychedelic black metallers" Nachtmystium are back with their eagerly anticipated (and somehow controversial) new full-length album for big new label Century Media (after several on Southern Lord). The underground is abuzz, and we couldn't wait to hear it, being big fans of their previous album, Instinct Decay (and intrigued by their recent Worldfall ep, featuring a couple unexpected covers). Probably what's controversial isn't their psychedelic musical direction, which we already had major clues about from the catchy, buzzy, dreamy, E-bowed and bizarre Instinct, but just that Nachtmystium are moving on up from the underground, getting more "indie" scene attention... for instance, a review on Pitchfork, who even wonder if this is really a black metal album. The fact that Pitchfork is even writing about it, makes all the "true" black metallers wonder the same thing. But whatever, yes it's a black metal album, albeit one with lots of Moogy synths and backwards tape effects and even some saxophone (from Yakuza dude) on the three-part, 12 minute "Seasick" opus that ends this disc, and other left field, post/prog/psych rock twists and turns. There's a track ("Away From The Light") of pure ambience. But also quite a few tracks of pure black metal brutality. And beautiful blends of both.
Overall, Nachtmystium mostly remains a raging black metal beast, dosed with spacey FX. Think (later) Satyricon meets Neurosis, maybe, with the controls set for the heart of a dead black sun. Really, if black metallers can deal with the likes of Sigh and Arcturus and gone-prog Enslaved, they can't possibly have a problem with Nachtmystium. In fact, quite the opposite!!
And as far as we're concerned, this is possibly Nachtmystium's best yet. Certainly best produced, and most ambitious. The fullest realization to date of this band's genre-bending progression. And the punny title is pretty clever. Black Meddle, get it? You do if you're a Pink Floyd fan. And it's not the only Pink Floyd reference here. We're not sure that if Pink Floyd circa Meddle were to have made a black metal album it would sound like this, or even if this is supposed to be Nachtmystium's best guess at what that would sound like, but the inspiration at any rate has worked to create something pretty special. There's utter blasting blackened riffarama with rasping vokills, moody stretches of instrumental psychedelic '70s space-out bliss, and, well, what more do you need to know? Already sounds like a thumbs-up AQ item, right? We have always wanted post rock bands like Pelican to be just a bit more metal, and Nachtmystium shows that can work perfectly from the other direction. Recommended. What will Pt. 2 hold in store we wonder?
MPEG Stream: "Assassins"
MPEG Stream: "Ghosts Of Grace"
MPEG Stream: "Code Negative"

album cover NACHTMYSTIUM Assassins: Black Meddle Part 1 (Black On Black) lp 14.98
NOW ON VINYL!! Gatefold sleeve import. What we said about the cd:
Illinois' "psychedelic black metallers" Nachtmystium are back with their eagerly anticipated (and somehow controversial) new full-length album for big new label Century Media (after several on Southern Lord). The underground is abuzz, and we couldn't wait to hear it, being big fans of their previous album, Instinct Decay (and intrigued by their recent Worldfall ep, featuring a couple unexpected covers). Probably what's controversial isn't their psychedelic musical direction, which we already had major clues about from the catchy, buzzy, dreamy, E-bowed and bizarre Instinct, but just that Nachtmystium are moving on up from the underground, getting more "indie" scene attention... for instance, a review on Pitchfork, who even wonder if this is really a black metal album. The fact that Pitchfork is even writing about it, makes all the "true" black metallers wonder the same thing. But whatever, yes it's a black metal album, albeit one with lots of Moogy synths and backwards tape effects and even some saxophone (from Yakuza dude) on the three-part, 12 minute "Seasick" opus that ends this disc, and other left field, post/prog/psych rock twists and turns. There's a track ("Away From The Light") of pure ambience. But also quite a few tracks of pure black metal brutality. And beautiful blends of both.
Overall, Nachtmystium mostly remains a raging black metal beast, dosed with spacey FX. Think (later) Satyricon meets Neurosis, maybe, with the controls set for the heart of a dead black sun. Really, if black metallers can deal with the likes of Sigh and Arcturus and gone-prog Enslaved, they can't possibly have a problem with Nachtmystium. In fact, quite the opposite!!
And as far as we're concerned, this is possibly Nachtmystium's best yet. Certainly best produced, and most ambitious. The fullest realization to date of this band's genre-bending progression. And the punny title is pretty clever. Black Meddle, get it? You do if you're a Pink Floyd fan. And it's not the only Pink Floyd reference here. We're not sure that if Pink Floyd circa Meddle were to have made a black metal album it would sound like this, or even if this is supposed to be Nachtmystium's best guess at what that would sound like, but the inspiration at any rate has worked to create something pretty special. There's utter blasting blackened riffarama with rasping vokills, moody stretches of instrumental psychedelic '70s space-out bliss, and, well, what more do you need to know? Already sounds like a thumbs-up AQ item, right? We have always wanted post rock bands like Pelican to be just a bit more metal, and Nachtmystium shows that can work perfectly from the other direction. Recommended. What will Pt. 2 hold in store we wonder?
MPEG Stream: "Assassins"
MPEG Stream: "Ghosts Of Grace"
MPEG Stream: "Code Negative"

album cover NACHTMYSTIUM Demise (Autopsy Kitchen) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We recently listed the newest release from midwestern black metallers Nachtmystium on Southern Lord a few weeks back, but we also managed to get just a few copies of the previous Nachtmystium cd, a wrist-slitting slab of ultra suicidal depressive, lo-fi black metal, suffocatingly bleak and buzzy, thrashy and chaotic. Mostly midtempo, with occasional stretches of blasting black metal, this is melancholic and miserable, grim and sorrowful, the riffs blurring into near-drones while distant melodies drift in the background and the drums sort of plod along contributing to the mesmerizing feel. A brutal mix of classic old school norwegian black metal (Immortal, Emperor, etc...) and more modern suicidal-drone black metal (Xasthur, Leviathan, etc...).
MPEG Stream: "Solitary Voyage"
MPEG Stream: "Scorpio Incarnate"

album cover NACHTMYSTIUM Demise (Kreation) lp 16.98

album cover NACHTMYSTIUM Doomsday Derelicts (Battle Kommand / Century Media) cd ep 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Hell YEAH! Chicago's reigning lords of spaced out, immensely psychedelic black metal return with this 4 song rager, and if for some reason you needed more proof that Nachtmystium was at the top of their game, look no further. Few metal bands, black or otherwise, could pull this kind of thing off without looking like the half assed amateurs they undoubtedly are. Nachtmystium, on the other hand, expertly utilize buzzing Moogs (and even piano!), tons of atmospheric FX, Blake Judd's throat-shredding vocals, and enough thrashy riffs to keep this thing going on repeat all night. It's not that any of these elements in themselves are so unique, but Nachtmystium's approach is just so classy, and while the results reveal plenty of impeccable influences throughout metal's long and glorious history, the only band they sound like at this point is Nachtmystium. They've got balls, and they aren't afraid to go against the accepted "rules" of a genre that, in its own way, is just as regimented as anything else. Unlike many metal bands, Nachtmystium possess a strong sense of actual songcraft, which ultimately makes them that much more potent, and in the end, it can't be denied that Nachtmystium are one hell of a rock n' roll band. There is just such a perfect understanding of how to groove. These riffs are going to stay in your head for days, while the outstanding production, courtesy of the band's new synth wrangler, Sanford Parker (Minsk, Buried At Sea) clearly put these dudes multiple steps beyond the competition - if there is any competition.
MPEG Stream: "Life Of Fire"
MPEG Stream: "Hellish Overdose"

album cover NACHTMYSTIUM Eulogy IV (Southern Lord) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Southern Lord is turning into the go to guys for underground black metal. Scooping up super limited releases, slapping on their logo and giving some way too limited and thus mostly unheard weird black metal records some well deserved attention.
This is Southern Lord's reissue of Eulogy IV, from Chicago's Nachtmystium, who also happens to do time in a band called Twilight with Wrest from Leviathan (coming out soon on Southern Lord as well!). Nachtmystium plays the sort of black metal we just can't get enough of, that buzzy fuzzy midtempo grimness, similar to AQ faves Burzum, Woodtemple, Graveland and the like. Super distorted guitars fill the air with a suffocating black fog, while the drums churn underneath, gasping for breath, while the vocals howl and wail and growl. The cool thing about Nachtmystium is their weirdly traditional melodic sense. You'll have burst of black metal intensity, underpinned by a totally catchy NWOBHM guitar lead and an almost classic rock melody. Weird but totally effective. Dare we say toe tappingly catchy? I know, no black metal guy wants to hear anyone say that about his ultra grim black metal troop, but damn if the title track here isn't the catchiest black metal track ever! And without losing any brutality. That track in particular sounds a little like the Scorpions and The Steve Miller Band dipped in a huge viscous vat of roiling guitar fuzz and demonic rasp and broadcast from the classic rock station in hell!!!
Bonus tracks include three covers, an EARTH cover (a track from Earth's Pentastar performed live, including the Nachtmysticum singer's instruction to the audience to shut up and pay attention!), a Burzum cover and a Von cover, as well as a live track recorded last year.
LIMTED TO 1000 and numbered!
MPEG Stream: "My Vengeance"
MPEG Stream: "Charioteer (Temple Song) (Earth cover)"
MPEG Stream: "Stemmen Fra Tarnet (Burzum cover)"

album cover NACHTMYSTIUM Instinct Decay (Southern Lord) cd 14.98
You don't often think of the word psychedelic when talking about black metal, but the latest (and we're late too, with this review) from USBM institution Nachtmystium is maybe the most psychedelic black metal record we've heard.
On first listen, this just sounds like a killer slab of thrashing blackness, buzzing downtuned riffs, demonic howls, blasting drums, but at some point, in almost every song, something really strange happens, and what was once a grim black blur, becomes a resplendent fuzzy soundscape of thick dreamy FX and blown out soft focus fuzz. Some tracks take off into endlessly rocking near-pop shimmer, like suddenly someone opened the recording studio door and M83 was recording next door, and the two sounds get all gloriously blurred and tangled. On other songs, the buzzing thrash falls to pieces into an abstract soundscape of strange FX and bits of crumbling sound. The core sound, a furious buzzing black metal, is surprisingly catchy too, with post rock arrangements, and plenty of space rock sensibility creeping into the more traditional grimness, but it's the lengthy outros and bridges in each song that make this record so bizarre and so cool. Can't imagine that some of this will go over too will with the ultra cult black metallers, but for those of us who like our metal twisted and tweaked and out of the ordinary, Nachtmystium's new sound totally hits the spot. A dense blissed out dreamy fuzziness impossibly wrapped around spikey crusty black metal buzz, culminating in the 6 minute final track, a slowly shifting black ambient space out, over slowly churning riffs and mesmerizing tribal drums. So good!
MPEG Stream: "A Seed For Suffering"
MPEG Stream: "Chosen By No One"

album cover NACHTMYSTIUM Worldfall (Century Media) cd ep 6.98
Chicago's psychedelic black metallers Nachtmystium have a full-length coming out on Century Media full-length (called, wait for it, Assassins: Black Meddle Part I... no really, get it? 'Cause they love that early Pink Floyd) and this ep is a teaser of sorts, maybe...
Originally meant to be a split with Leviathan, we don't actually know how much this ep is indicative of what's to come on that full-length. There's just two new songs here, one very very psych, slow and spacey ("Worldfall") and another much more traditionally black metally ("Depravity"). There's also a re-recording of an older tune of theirs ("Solitary Voyage"), and two covers: Death In June's "Rose Clouds Of Holocaust" and Goatsnakes's "IV", interesting 'cause industrial-folk and Sabbathy stoner-doom are not exactly Nachtmystium's core sound.
So, how does it stack up? We gotta say whoa, the blasting tracks two and three remind us a lot of With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness era At the Gates. Fucking rad! Also, the Death In June cover is shockingly faithful to the original, and the Goatsnake cover is pretty good too, even those of us who don't like Goatsnake that much agreed. Again it's pretty faithful, but has been black metallized with raspy vocals improving upon the original... so, something for everyone here, or maybe just for Nachtmystium fans.
MPEG Stream: "Worldfall"
MPEG Stream: "Rose Clouds Of Holocaust"

album cover NACHTMYSTIUM Worldfall (Mexican Summer / Kemado) 12" 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Now On Vinyl! Numbered and limited to 1000 copies, comes with download card.
Here's what we said about the cd version of this ep, which preceded their recent full-length from these Chicago psychedelic black metallers, Assassins: Black Meddle Part I:
There's just two new songs here, one very very psych, slow and spacey ("Worldfall") and another much more traditionally black metally ("Depravity"). There's also a re-recording of an older tune of theirs ("Solitary Voyage"), and two covers: Death In June's "Rose Clouds Of Holocaust" and Goatsnakes's "IV", interesting 'cause industrial-folk and Sabbathy stoner-doom are not exactly Nachtmystium's core sound.
So, how does it stack up? We gotta say whoa, the blasting tracks two and three remind us a lot of With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness era At the Gates. Fucking rad! Also, the Death In June cover is shockingly faithful to the original, and the Goatsnake cover is pretty good too, even those of us who don't like Goatsnake that much agreed. Again it's pretty faithful, but has been black metallized with raspy vocals improving upon the original... so, something for everyone here, or maybe just for Nachtmystium fans.
MPEG Stream: "Worldfall"
MPEG Stream: "Rose Clouds Of Holocaust"

album cover NACKT INSECTEN Reality Bridge (Blackest Rainbow) lp 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
This is the first we've heard from Scottish soundscaper Nackt Insecten, even though there have apparently been loads of limited cd-r's and tapes that came before, a fantastic melange of minimal repetition a la Steve Reich and Terry Riley, and more modern spaced out psychedelic minimalism like Sunroof! and Astral Social Club, Our Love Will Destroy The World and Axolotl.
Pulsing drones, lush layered overtones, thick synth swells, a sort of ur-drone raga, the rhythms crunchy and distorted, a blistery haze of humid sound that dissipates into angelic drifts. Kosmische folk rife with tinkling chimes, shimmering melodies, all very mesmerizing and meditative and new agey. Spidery acoustic guitars intertwine with slow shifting slabs of low end throb, soaring ad blissed out and richly effulgent. Chugging synths churn and roil, wreathed in clouds of distorted prismatic buzz, a hypnotic minimalism that culminates in the synthy sci fi soundtracky final jam, thick buzzy tendrils of electric guitars wind themselves around pulsing eighties synths and a soft cacophony of percussion, a heady, lysergic melding of Sunroof! and Majeure, Astral Social Club and Zombi, taking the Carpenterish soundtrack sound so popular these days and grafting it to a more minimal cosmic otherworldliness. Killer stuff.

album cover NADA SURF If I Had A Hi-Fi (Mardev) cd 13.98
We have to admit, with all the super limited vinyl, weird 7"s, rare reissues, and all the other cool stuff that was being specially released to celebrate Record Store Day, we were (not so) secretly most excited about a new record from long time faves and two time aQ Record Of The Week honorees Nada Surf. A new record from these guys is always a thrill, and a full length is long overdue, but this is not the new Nada Surf, instead, it's a total Record Store Day release, with the band covering a bunch of their favorite songs, some we dig, some surprises, and some we'd never heard of.
Probably the most amazing thing about this collection, is if you weren't familiar with the songs being covered, it wouldn't be a stretch to assume they were Nada Surf originals, these guys take the originals and OWN then, totally make them their own. Even songs you've heard a million times, like Depeche Mode's "Enjoy The Silence", get enough of a Nada Surf makeover to sound like an original, but fans will still dig hearing their old song reimagined.
Their Bill Fox cover ("Electrocution"), is total sunshiney harmony Byrds worship, and again, sounds like it could be from an old Nada Surf record. They do a Go-Betweens song, that again is a perfect match, it makes sense that they would pick these songs, it's almost the perfect sonic representation of the influences that created Nada Surf. One of the big surprises is the Arthur Russell (!) cover, a gorgeous hushed bit of lap steel laced minimal twang pop, WAY too short at just over a minute.
The rest of the record finds the band tackling The Dwight Twilley Band, Kate Bush, Spoon, The Moody Blues (!), recent aQ faves Soft Pack, Coralie Clement (another obscure choice), and then they finish with two total random covers by bands we had never heard of, Mecromina, their version a lush string laden slab of jangle pop, and the Silly Pillows, never heard the original, but the cover is a carnivalesque bit of piano driven pomp, to finish things off.
Totally fantastic, we've listened to this record about 100 times, and while it's definitely tiding us over, it also has us dying for a proper new Nada Surf record!!
MPEG Stream: "Electrocution (Bill Fox)"
MPEG Stream: "Enjoy The Silence (Depeche Mode)"
MPEG Stream: "Love Goes On (The Go-Betweens)"
MPEG Stream: "Janine (Arthur Russell)"

album cover NADA SURF If I Had A Hi-Fi (Mardev) lp 25.00
Originally conceived as a special Record Store Day release, Nada Surf's awesome palindromic covers album was later given a proper, wide release, and has now finally been pressed onto vinyl!
We have to admit, with all the super limited vinyl, weird 7"s, rare reissues, and all the other cool stuff that was being specially released to celebrate Record Store Day, we were (not so) secretly most excited about a new record from long time faves and two time aQ Record Of The Week honorees Nada Surf. A new record from these guys is always a thrill, and a full length is long overdue, but this is not the new Nada Surf, instead, it's a total Record Store Day release, with the band covering a bunch of their favorite songs, some we dig, some surprises, and some we'd never heard of.
Probably the most amazing thing about this collection, is if you weren't familiar with the songs being covered, it wouldn't be a stretch to assume they were Nada Surf originals, these guys take the originals and OWN then, totally make them their own. Even songs you've heard a million times, like Depeche Mode's "Enjoy The Silence", get enough of a Nada Surf makeover to sound like an original, but fans will still dig hearing their old song reimagined.
Their Bill Fox cover ("Electrocution"), is total sunshiney harmony Byrds worship, and again, sounds like it could be from an old Nada Surf record. They do a Go-Betweens song, that again is a perfect match, it makes sense that they would pick these songs, it's almost the perfect sonic representation of the influences that created Nada Surf. One of the big surprises is the Arthur Russell (!) cover, a gorgeous hushed bit of lap steel laced minimal twang pop, WAY too short at just over a minute.
The rest of the record finds the band tackling The Dwight Twilley Band, Kate Bush, Spoon, The Moody Blues (!), recent aQ faves Soft Pack, Coralie Clement (another obscure choice), and then they finish with two total random covers by bands we had never heard of, Mecromina, their version a lush string laden slab of jangle pop, and the Silly Pillows, never heard the original, but the cover is a carnivalesque bit of piano driven pomp, to finish things off.
Totally fantastic, we've listened to this record about 100 times, and while it's definitely tiding us over, it also has us dying for a proper new Nada Surf record!!
MPEG Stream: "Electrocution (Bill Fox)"
MPEG Stream: "Enjoy The Silence (Depeche Mode)"
MPEG Stream: "Love Goes On (The Go-Betweens)"
MPEG Stream: "Janine (Arthur Russell)"

album cover NADA SURF Karmic (Hi-Speed Soul) cd ep 10.98

MPEG Stream: "Telescope"
MPEG Stream: "Sea Knows When"

album cover NADA SURF Let Go (Barsuk) cd 12.98
Not sure what it is about this record, but I (Andee) haven't been able to stop listening to it for weeks now. Some of you may remember Nada Surf from their big MTV hit 'Popular'. Not sure how a band goes from heavy rotation on MTV to being on indie label Barsuk, but whatever the reason, I sure can't complain, when the result is a record as catchy and dark and personal as this. And great! Did I say great?! This has to be one of my favorite pop records of recent memory. And the interesting thing is that it really is a POP record, not power pop, or noise pop, or any thing so specialised. If anything, it's most reminiscent of college rock circa 15 years ago. Which could be bad but in this case is most certainly not. Jangly and rocking, dark and melancholy, with really cool funny lyrics that at times are so banal and seemingly random, that they manage to carry the back breaking weight of their heartbreak and misery without the usual sap and schmaltz of most 'rock' lyrics. This record isn't weird or ground breaking or super challenging, just really really good. And ultimately, it comes down to the MUSIC, and how often you want/need to listen to it, and as I find myself throwing this on almost every day, I think that says it all.
RealAudio clip: "Blizzard of 77"
RealAudio clip: "Happy Kid"
RealAudio clip: "Fruit Fly"

album cover NADA SURF Lucky (Barsuk) cd 13.98
It's always the records we love the most, and listen to the most, that are the hardest to describe. Hmmm. As we were writing that, we realized it sounded familiar and what do you know? That's almost exactly how we started our review of the last Nada Surf record. We've joked before, that instead of rambling on and and on and gushing like we often do, we should just write what we usually tell people in the store: "Just buy it. It's AWESOME!!!" But because some folks now do base their idea of a record's importance on the length of the review, we'll go ahead and try to explain exactly why Lucky is so awesome and why you should absolutely buy it, and most importantly why it's almost for sure our:
POP RECORD OF THE YEAR. Sure it's only February. But it was a done deal two songs in. And sure, we're hoping some record will be able to knock Lucky out of its top spot, but it seems very very unlikely.
And while even after probably 100 listens, Lucky doesn't seem quite as genius as it's predecessor The Weight Is A Gift, it gets a little closer every listen.
For those who somehow missed out on the whole Nada Surf phenomenon, they had a HUGE hit back in the nineties, "Popular", you'd know it if you heard it. And it got played enough to become one of THOSE songs you never wanted to hear again. But as with most one hit wonders, they ended up dropped and broke, another victim of the unforgiving major label machinery. They sort of just disappeared after that, almost completely, until years later they resurfaced with a brand new record, on a cool little indie label, and an almost entirely new sound. Lush and introspective, but super rocking at the same time, gorgeous vocal harmonies, amazing melodies, incredible hooks, and really funny, bittersweet lyrics. The next one was even better, another record of the week in fact. The Weight Is A Gift instantly became one of our favorite records of not just that year, but ever. Played to death, every song practically perfect. Heavy, dark, pretty, poppy, and so so so catchy.
A week or so ago, totally unexpected, Lucky showed up in the mail, and from the first song, we knew we'd end up loving this one too. But like almost all of our favorite pop records, it wasn't immediate. It took some listens for the songs to blossom, for the hooks to sink in, for the subtleties to reveal themselves. But as they did, and continue to do, the record just became that much deeper, the sound that much more complex. Instantly catchy throwaway pop has a very limited lifespan, but complicated, grown up pop music, deftly composed and executed, infused with soul and passion, humor and emotion, well, those are the kind of songs that stick. And this record is chock full of those sorts of songs. "Whose Authority" could have come straight off The Weight Is A Gift, with its incredible hook and chorus, then there's the churning minor key groove of "Weightless", dark and heavy, but shot through with pop sunlight, the sweet jangle of "I Like What You Say" with yet another impossibly catchy chorus, "The Fox" is the darkest and brooding of the bunch, but it too manages to remain catchy and pretty. It's hard to pick out songs, since like most great albums, it is an album, the songs working together as much as they work on their own. Fucking brilliant. Again. As much as we love all that crazy weird shit, sometimes nothing does it for us like perfect perfect pop.
MPEG Stream: "See These Bones"
MPEG Stream: "Whose Authority"
MPEG Stream: "Weightless"

NADA SURF The Moon Is Calling (Barsuk) 7" 6.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover NADA SURF The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy (Barsuk) cd 15.98
We might as well just start out with the obvious. Pop record of the year. Hands down. We knew it would be. And yeah, even in January, it's pretty much already been decided. In fact the minute we found out there was a new Nada Surf record on the horizon, we began to count the days, and wonder if it would be one of those slow growers, or if we'd be immediately obsessed (it was the latter, btw). And really, one of the only reasons it's not Record Of The Week, is because it just so happened to come out when we already had an embarrassment of ROTW's picked, but rest assured, for some of us, this is most definitely Record Of The Week, and most likely record of the year too.
Most people are probably super excited to extol the virtues of their favorite band, or that record they've been anxiously awaiting, and we are too obviously, but for us it comes with the added pressure of 'what the hell do we say about this', especially when it's a band whose records we've gushed about extensively in the past, two of those records past Records Of The Week in fact, we've said it before, but this is one of those records where we just want the whole review to be "Just buy it! it's so great! We love it and can't stop listening to it! We've been driving the not-so-pop-obsessed around here CRAZY with repeated listens, sometimes just setting the cd player on repeat!" And heck, for some of you that will be enough, if you dug the last few Nada Surf records, which loads of you did, you'll love this one too. We want to say it's the best one yet, but we say that every time. We can say, it's maybe the most rocking one yet. With a lot few slower songs, and some of their heaviest tunes, but without sacrificing any of the lush hookiness or irresistible jangle. We'd say just listen to the samples, cuz we really can't imagine anyone being able to resist, but on the off chance that you do need more...
Nada Surf have moved well beyond potential one hit wonder status, after the ubiquitous MTV airplay of a certain song called "Popular" back in the nineties (YouTube it), and ever since, they've continued to hone a sound rooted in classic power pop and nineties indie rock, a sound that quickly became all their own, lush and melodic and jangly, with Matthew Caws' super distinctive vox, and a melodic flair and impeccable songwriting that eventually became just as distinctive, their lyrics clever and smart, literate and carefully constructed, harmonies lush and lovely, songs that rock as much as they drift and shimmer, every record packed with potential hits, not a bit of filler, and this new one is no different. Opener "Clear Eye, Clouded Mind" starts things off with a bang, thick crunchy guitars, big pounding drums, and some impossibly catchy melodies, and like many of their tracks, the verse and bridge are just as catchy as the chorus, if not more so. "Waiting For Something" is another killer, all chiming and sunshiney, crunchy and fuzzy, big guitars, and even bigger vocals, all woven into a super dynamic arrangement that manages to be both intricate and hooky as hell. "When I Was Young" starts off all folky and balladic, just steel string guitar and gorgeous vox, eventually blossoming into a big crunchy jangly second half, "Jules And Jim" is another great one, the band taking unlikely melodies and complex arrangements and impossibly transforming them into pure perfect pop. We could go song by song, cuz every song here KILLS, everyone with a chorus most other bands would kill for, and most likely a verse that other bands would make into a chorus, but odds are we'd just end up repeating ourselves. But we can say, which we've mentioned before, is that as much as we obsess over grim black metal and noisy chaotic heaviness and weird dronemusic and all that sort of far out freaky stuff, we find ourselves always coming back to this, and NOT just because it's poppy and catchy, but because it's poppy and catchy in a way that so much other 'catchy pop' is NOT. Sure these guys are a pop band, but what they do with that pop is utterly magical.
It's at this point that we DO say, just listen to the sound samples, this is the sort of visceral emotional music that will connect right away, and if you're anything like us, once you hear it, you won't want to stop hearing it, and you'll want to hear more and more!
MPEG Stream: "Clear Eye Clouded Mind"
MPEG Stream: "Waiting For Something"
MPEG Stream: "When I Was Young"
MPEG Stream: "Teenage Dreams"

album cover NADA SURF The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy (Barsuk) lp 23.00
NOW ON VINYL!!
We might as well just start out with the obvious. Pop record of the year. Hands down. We knew it would be. And yeah, even in January, it's pretty much already been decided. In fact the minute we found out there was a new Nada Surf record on the horizon, we began to count the days, and wonder if it would be one of those slow growers, or if we'd be immediately obsessed (it was the latter, btw). And really, one of the only reasons it's not Record Of The Week, is because it just so happened to come out when we already had an embarrassment of ROTW's picked, but rest assured, for some of us, this is most definitely Record Of The Week, and most likely record of the year too.
Most people are probably super excited to extol the virtues of their favorite band, or that record they've been anxiously awaiting, and we are too obviously, but for us it comes with the added pressure of 'what the hell do we say about this', especially when it's a band whose records we've gushed about extensively in the past, two of those records past Records Of The Week in fact, we've said it before, but this is one of those records where we just want the whole review to be "Just buy it! it's so great! We love it and can't stop listening to it! We've been driving the not-so-pop-obsessed around here CRAZY with repeated listens, sometimes just setting the cd player on repeat!" And heck, for some of you that will be enough, if you dug the last few Nada Surf records, which loads of you did, you'll love this one too. We want to say it's the best one yet, but we say that every time. We can say, it's maybe the most rocking one yet. With a lot few slower songs, and some of their heaviest tunes, but without sacrificing any of the lush hookiness or irresistible jangle. We'd say just listen to the samples, cuz we really can't imagine anyone being able to resist, but on the off chance that you do need more...
Nada Surf have moved well beyond potential one hit wonder status, after the ubiquitous MTV airplay of a certain song called "Popular" back in the nineties (YouTube it), and ever since, they've continued to hone a sound rooted in classic power pop and nineties indie rock, a sound that quickly became all their own, lush and melodic and jangly, with Matthew Caws' super distinctive vox, and a melodic flair and impeccable songwriting that eventually became just as distinctive, their lyrics clever and smart, literate and carefully constructed, harmonies lush and lovely, songs that rock as much as they drift and shimmer, every record packed with potential hits, not a bit of filler, and this new one is no different. Opener "Clear Eye, Clouded Mind" starts things off with a bang, thick crunchy guitars, big pounding drums, and some impossibly catchy melodies, and like many of their tracks, the verse and bridge are just as catchy as the chorus, if not more so. "Waiting For Something" is another killer, all chiming and sunshiney, crunchy and fuzzy, big guitars, and even bigger vocals, all woven into a super dynamic arrangement that manages to be both intricate and hooky as hell. "When I Was Young" starts off all folky and balladic, just steel string guitar and gorgeous vox, eventually blossoming into a big crunchy jangly second half, "Jules And Jim" is another great one, the band taking unlikely melodies and complex arrangements and impossibly transforming them into pure perfect pop. We could go song by song, cuz every song here KILLS, everyone with a chorus most other bands would kill for, and most likely a verse that other bands would make into a chorus, but odds are we'd just end up repeating ourselves. But we can say, which we've mentioned before, is that as much as we obsess over grim black metal and noisy chaotic heaviness and weird dronemusic and all that sort of far out freaky stuff, we find ourselves always coming back to this, and NOT just because it's poppy and catchy, but because it's poppy and catchy in a way that so much other 'catchy pop' is NOT. Sure these guys are a pop band, but what they do with that pop is utterly magical.
It's at this point that we DO say, just listen to the sound samples, this is the sort of visceral emotional music that will connect right away, and if you're anything like us, once you hear it, you won't want to stop hearing it, and you'll want to hear more and more!
MPEG Stream: "Clear Eye Clouded Mind"
MPEG Stream: "Waiting For Something"
MPEG Stream: "When I Was Young"
MPEG Stream: "Teenage Dreams"

album cover NADA SURF The Weight Is A Gift (Barsuk) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
You would think that the more you listen to a record, the easier it would be to write about, but for us sometimes the exact opposite seems to be true. The more a record seeps into your consciousness, the more it takes on all these ineffable qualities that are incredibly hard to describe in words. It's a rare record that can do that, but when it happens, it's all about feeling and emotion, the way the record affects you, makes you think, makes you feel, even if it just makes you want to jump around and sing along at the top of your lungs. Or drive with the stereo blasting, in a goosebumpy fume thinking sad thoughts. Or walk around in the fog and mist, just wandering aimlessly. Or just rock out and forget everything. And it's the record that can make you feel all of those things and then some that's even more rare. This is most definitely one of those records.
Being the sort of store we are, we get super obsessed with ultra weird records and bizarre niche genres, all of which we love to bits, be it drones or found sounds or sludge or power pop or black metal or whatever. But sometimes it takes a good ol' rock record to kick your ass and push all those buttons that without realizing it, have remained relatively un-pushed for years. 2003's Let Go, Nada Surf's first record since they were chewed up and spit out by the major label / MTV machine in the late nineties (after a huge hit in 1995) was a breath of fresh air at the time, a gorgeous indie rock record, full of impossibly catchy hooks, wry, bittersweet lyrics, perfect jangle guitar, just some of the best fucking songs we'd heard in ages. Songs that so far surpassed their former incarnation as a major label MTV rock band it was a little hard to believe it was the same band. A record so good in fact, that lots of metalheads and punk rockers we know even LOVED it. And around these parts it was one of the most listened to records of the last few years.
So we were super psyched when we heard there was a new Nada Surf on the horizon. On first listen though, it sounded just a bit too happy. But why wouldn't it, they had reinvented themselves, and were on a super hip indie label, and folks (the right folks this time) loved their band. Made sense that perhaps it would be a little less cynical and jaded, especially after the cathartic bile and vitriol of Let Go. But the more we listened, the more we realized, it was just as bitter and dark if not more so, just more self assured, better produced, songs that were even catchier, but in that way that classic songs are catchy, they take time to grow, and as they do, they become ultra personal, every song, and every favorite part having some direct correlation to your life, or some special meaning for everyone who listens. Each melody makes you want to sing along, or just close your eyes and think along in your head. We still thought the first record was better, until we went back and listened, and realized, that while the old record was still great, this new record took everything they were shooting for with the that one, and hit perfect bullseyes with every track on The Weight Is A Gift. Not a weak song anywhere, not a bit of filler. In fact some songs have so many killer parts, and so many hooks, any other band would more than likely turn every song here into two, or even three. All the parts are the stuff of classic indie rock, jangly guitars, sometimes roaring into a distorted big chorus fury, sometimes fading into a moody near ambient strum, simple basslines, drumming with fills as catchy as any of the songs' hooks (think Nirvana), gorgeous vocal harmonies, and really intense and clever and heartfelt lyrics, and most importantly, some of the catchiest songs ever. From dreamy, dreary slow building ballads, to full on rocking barnburners, to straight ahead sounding nineties style college rock, to more modern indie pop, Nada Surf while sounding totally unique, should definitely fit comfortably in your collections and in your ears, right alongside the Wrens, Yo La Tengo, Neutral Milk Hotel, Sparklehorse, Interpol, Olivia Tremor Control, New Pornographers, Flaming Lips, Pavement, Now It's Overhead, and all the other modern indie 'classics'. But for us, there's something about Nada Surf that makes them stand out, even among such an elite indie crowd. Again, it's that impossible to describe something, so personal and intimate, even at their most rocking, that just hits us right in the heart. And the soul. The true test for us though as always, is how often you find yourself listening to something. Sure we've been loving all sorts of doom and drone and black metal, but we always find ourselves throwing this back on, again and again, all the time, every day. And loving it more and more every time.
MPEG Stream: "Concrete Bed"
MPEG Stream: "Do It Again"
MPEG Stream: "Always Love"

NADA SURF The Weight Is A Gift (Barsuk) 2cd 13.98
THIS DOUBLE CD VERSION IS OUT OF PRINT. SORRY. WE DO STILL STOCK THE SINGLE DISC VERSION, THOUGH.
You would think that the more you listen to a record, the easier it would be to write about, but for us sometimes the exact opposite seems to be true. The more a record seeps into your consciousness, the more it takes on all these ineffable qualities that are incredibly hard to describe in words. It's a rare record that can do that, but when it happens, it's all about feeling and emotion, the way the record affects you, makes you think, makes you feel, even if it just makes you want to jump around and sing along at the top of your lungs. Or drive with the stereo blasting, in a goosebumpy fume thinking sad thoughts. Or walk around in the fog and mist, just wandering aimlessly. Or just rock out and forget everything. And it's the record that can make you feel all of those things and then some that's even more rare. This is most definitely one of those records.
Being the sort of store we are, we get super obsessed with ultra weird records and bizarre niche genres, all of which we love to bits, be it drones or found sounds or sludge or power pop or black metal or whatever. But sometimes it takes a good ol' rock record to kick your ass and push all those buttons that without realizing it, have remained relatively un-pushed for years. 2003's Let Go, Nada Surf's first record since they were chewed up and spit out by the major label / MTV machine in the late nineties (after a huge hit in 1995) was a breath of fresh air at the time, a gorgeous indie rock record, full of impossibly catchy hooks, wry, bittersweet lyrics, perfect jangle guitar, just some of the best fucking songs we'd heard in ages. Songs that so far surpassed their former incarnation as a major label MTV rock band it was a little hard to believe it was the same band. A record so good in fact, that lots of metalheads and punk rockers we know even LOVED it. And around these parts it was one of the most listened to records of the last few years.
So we were super psyched when we heard there was a new Nada Surf on the horizon. On first listen though, it sounded just a bit too happy. But why wouldn't it, they had reinvented themselves, and were on a super hip indie label, and folks (the right folks this time) loved their band. Made sense that perhaps it would be a little less cynical and jaded, especially after the cathartic bile and vitriol of Let Go. But the more we listened, the more we realized, it was just as bitter and dark if not more so, just more self assured, better produced, songs that were even catchier, but in that way that classic songs are catchy, they take time to grow, and as they do, they become ultra personal, every song, and every favorite part having some direct correlation to your life, or some special meaning for everyone who listens. Each melody makes you want to sing along, or just close your eyes and think along in your head. We still thought the first record was better, until we went back and listened, and realized, that while the old record was still great, this new record took everything they were shooting for with the that one, and hit perfect bullseyes with every track on The Weight Is A Gift. Not a weak song anywhere, not a bit of filler. In fact some songs have so many killer parts, and so many hooks, any other band would more than likely turn every song here into two, or even three. All the parts are the stuff of classic indie rock, jangly guitars, sometimes roaring into a distorted big chorus fury, sometimes fading into a moody near ambient strum, simple basslines, drumming with fills as catchy as any of the songs' hooks (think Nirvana), gorgeous vocal harmonies, and really intense and clever and heartfelt lyrics, and most importantly, some of the catchiest songs ever. From dreamy, dreary slow building ballads, to full on rocking barnburners, to straight ahead sounding nineties style college rock, to more modern indie pop, Nada Surf while sounding totally unique, should definitely fit comfortably in your collections and in your ears, right alongside the Wrens, Yo La Tengo, Neutral Milk Hotel, Sparklehorse, Interpol, Olivia Tremor Control, New Pornographers, Flaming Lips, Pavement, Now It's Overhead, and all the other modern indie 'classics'. But for us, there's something about Nada Surf that makes them stand out, even among such an elite indie crowd. Again, it's that impossible to describe something, so personal and intimate, even at their most rocking, that just hits us right in the heart. And the soul. The true test for us though as always, is how often you find yourself listening to something. Sure we've been loving all sorts of doom and drone and black metal, but we always find ourselves throwing this back on, again and again, all the time, every day. And loving it more and more every time.
Packaged with a cool die-cut cityscape sleeve with lyrics, and while supplies last a bonus disc including two unreleased tracks, a demo version of the opening track, and a Francoise Hardy cover!
MPEG Stream: "Concrete Bed"
MPEG Stream: "Do It Again"
MPEG Stream: "Always Love"

album cover NADA SURF The Weight Is A Gift (Sonic Boom) lp 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
This all time aQ favorite and past Record of the Week now on vinyl!!!!
You would think that the more you listen to a record, the easier it would be to write about, but for us sometimes the exact opposite seems to be true. The more a record seeps into your consciousness, the more it takes on all these ineffable qualities that are incredibly hard to describe in words. It's a rare record that can do that, but when it happens, it's all about feeling and emotion, the way the record affects you, makes you think, makes you feel, even if it just makes you want to jump around and sing along at the top of your lungs. Or drive with the stereo blasting, in a goosebumpy fume thinking sad thoughts. Or walk around in the fog and mist, just wandering aimlessly. Or just rock out and forget everything. And it's the record that can make you feel all of those things and then some that's even more rare. This is most definitely one of those records.
Being the sort of store we are, we get super obsessed with ultra weird records and bizarre niche genres, all of which we love to bits, be it drones or found sounds or sludge or power pop or black metal or whatever. But sometimes it takes a good ol' rock record to kick your ass and push all those buttons that without realizing it, have remained relatively un-pushed for years. 2003's Let Go, Nada Surf's first record since they were chewed up and spit out by the major label / MTV machine in the late nineties (after a huge hit in 1995) was a breath of fresh air at the time, a gorgeous indie rock record, full of impossibly catchy hooks, wry, bittersweet lyrics, perfect jangle guitar, just some of the best fucking songs we'd heard in ages. Songs that so far surpassed their former incarnation as a major label MTV rock band it was a little hard to believe it was the same band. A record so good in fact, that lots of metalheads and punk rockers we know even LOVED it. And around these parts it was one of the most listened to records of the last few years.
So we were super psyched when we heard there was a new Nada Surf on the horizon. On first listen though, it sounded just a bit too happy. But why wouldn't it, they had reinvented themselves, and were on a super hip indie label, and folks (the right folks this time) loved their band. Made sense that perhaps it would be a little less cynical and jaded, especially after the cathartic bile and vitriol of Let Go. But the more we listened, the more we realized, it was just as bitter and dark if not more so, just more self assured, better produced, songs that were even catchier, but in that way that classic songs are catchy, they take time to grow, and as they do, they become ultra personal, every song, and every favorite part having some direct correlation to your life, or some special meaning for everyone who listens. Each melody makes you want to sing along, or just close your eyes and think along in your head. We still thought the first record was better, until we went back and listened, and realized, that while the old record was still great, this new record took everything they were shooting for with the that one, and hit perfect bullseyes with every track on The Weight Is A Gift. Not a weak song anywhere, not a bit of filler. In fact some songs have so many killer parts, and so many hooks, any other band would more than likely turn every song here into two, or even three. All the parts are the stuff of classic indie rock, jangly guitars, sometimes roaring into a distorted big chorus fury, sometimes fading into a moody near ambient strum, simple basslines, drumming with fills as catchy as any of the songs' hooks (think Nirvana), gorgeous vocal harmonies, and really intense and clever and heartfelt lyrics, and most importantly, some of the catchiest songs ever. From dreamy, dreary slow building ballads, to full on rocking barnburners, to straight ahead sounding nineties style college rock, to more modern indie pop, Nada Surf while sounding totally unique, should definitely fit comfortably in your collections and in your ears, right alongside the Wrens, Yo La Tengo, Neutral Milk Hotel, Sparklehorse, Interpol, Olivia Tremor Control, New Pornographers, Flaming Lips, Pavement, Now It's Overhead, and all the other modern indie 'classics'. But for us, there's something about Nada Surf that makes them stand out, even among such an elite indie crowd. Again, it's that impossible to describe something, so personal and intimate, even at their most rocking, that just hits us right in the heart. And the soul. The true test for us though as always, is how often you find yourself listening to something. Sure we've been loving all sorts of doom and drone and black metal, but we always find ourselves throwing this back on, again and again, all the time, every day. And loving it more and more every time.
MPEG Stream: "Concrete Bed"
MPEG Stream: "Do It Again"
MPEG Stream: "Always Love"

album cover NADJA Autopergamene (Essence Music) cd 14.98
We reviewed the super deluxe, ultra limited, pricey boxset version of this, the latest full length from our favorite doom-drone / doom-gaze duo, Nadja, a while back, released on one of our favorite labels, Brazil's Essence Music, who in the past have brought us incredible releases from Acid Mothers Temple, Henrik Nordvargr Bjorkk, Boris, Merzbow, and Rapoon. We sold out of those right quick, but fear not, we now have the standard version, still in its own fancy package, still sonically kick ass, easily one of the best Nadjas yet for sure, just minus the box, some of the extras, and minus the $75 price tag!
If you're a Nadja fan, you're definitely gonna want one of these, sure all Nadja records are pretty great, but this one is incredible, an hour long three part epic, the heaviest, most lush and orchestral and intense record we've heard from these two yet. The opening track, clocking in at 25 minutes, begins as a hushed bit of dreamy drift, all gauzy and washed out and shimmery, layered melodies, shifting and swirling and so lovely, very Pop Ambient in fact, until about 12 minutes in, when the drums kick in, the guitars explode, but it doesn't simply get heavier, or louder, it sounds orchestral, huge moaning melodies, what sounds like strings or horns, epic and kaleidoscopic, the sound living and breathing, prismatic and totally warm and glowing, a heaving chunk of blissed out dreamlike heaviness.
The second movement is more traditionally heavy, a chugging churning slab of lumbering doom, the pounding drum machine and buzzing riffs, wreathed in a swirling cloud of hiss and buzz and Technicolor effulgence, a sort of incendiary Godflesh style industrial crunch, with buried howled vocals, and constantly shifting patina of glitched out effects and electronic buzz, which gives away to the 26 minute closer, beginning with super spare acoustic guitars, which drift into a shimmering field of prismatic glimmer, eventually exploding into another slab of blown out orchestral epic dream doom, totally majestic, and almost choral sounding, wrapped in sheets of staticky buzz, the sound getting more and more fierce and intense and threatening to blow your speakers, total chaos and catharsis, blissful but ultra intense, finally, relenting, and leaving gorgeous sonic vapor trails, laced with buried boy girl vox, a dreamy understated coda, to a seriously epic bit of orchestral buzz drenched bliss. So great.
MPEG Stream: "You Write Your Name In My Skin"
MPEG Stream: "You Write Your Name In Your Blood"

album cover NADJA Autopergamene (Essence Music) box 75.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
A brand new full length from our favorite doom-drone / doom-gaze duo, Nadja, and it's on one of our favorite labels too, Brazil's Essence Music, who in the past have brought us incredible releases from Acid Mothers Temple, Henrik Nordvargr Bjorkk, Boris, Merzbow, and Rapoon. But this is not the regular release. We are honored to be the only place in the world, other than the label itself, to be selling the super limited, deluxe, handmade boxset version, limited to just 149 copies, already completely sold out, except for a handful saved just for us, and for you. These are pricey, but they are incredible, gorgeously and lovingly assembled, with TONS of extra stuff, and there are less than 10 copies left, so get one before they're gone. More on the record proper in a second, but we figured we'd best explain what all comes in the box, in fact first there's the box itself, hand painted and decorated using several techniques, collaged, stitched and an intricate ink layering painting process. The box is gorgeous, but inside, you'll find the standard edition of the album, lavishly assembled in a custom 6-panel digisleeve housing a set of 6 cards set with beautiful watercolor paintings and artwork by Portuguese artist L. Filipe dos Santos. PLUS, as a bonus, an alternative DOUBLE cd-r set comprising the album (same version/mastering) and a DTS 5.1 version of it - this one mastered/mixed by Anders Peterson and including an exclusive remix - housed in a 6-panel package with a striking and utterly different artwork by Iremir Oscar and Essence head honcho Uirajara Resende PLUS an inedit live recording from earlier this year, also on cd-r. That's FOUR discs instead of just the one. PLUS, honoring the album's theme - skin and blood - there's also an individually painted and hand-assembled 16-page book - each page is totally unique - and strange souvenirs, like a pen-like object and a large painted band that holds the whole set together.
WOW. Like we said, there are less than 10 of these left, we are taking PRE-ORDERS for these, they are NOT in stock, once we know how many we need, we'll order them from Brazil and should have them within a week to 10 days. So if you order this with other stuff, your order will ship minus the Nadja box, which will ship by itself, or if you are a regular mailorder customer, probably in your next order, but you will be charged for it NOW, if you want one don't dawdle.
And if you are a Nadja fan, you're definitely gonna want one of these, sure all Nadja records are pretty great, but this one is incredible, an hour long three part epic, the heaviest, most lush and orchestral and intense record we've heard from these two yet. The opening track, clocking in at 25 minutes, begins as a hushed bit of dreamy drift, all gauzy and washed out and shimmery, layered melodies, shifting and swirling and so lovely, very Pop Ambient in fact, until about 12 minutes in, when the drums kick in, the guitars explode, but it doesn't simply get heavier, or louder, it sounds orchestral, huge moaning melodies, what sounds like strings or horns, epic and kaleidoscopic, the sound living and breathing, prismatic and totally warm and glowing, a heaving chunk of blissed out dreamlike heaviness.
The second movement is more traditionally heavy, a chugging churning slab of lumbering doom, the pounding drum machine and buzzing riffs, wreathed in a swirling cloud of hiss and buzz and Technicolor effulgence, a sort of incendiary Godflesh style industrial crunch, with buried howled vocals, and constantly shifting patina of glitched out effects and electronic buzz, which gives away to the 26 minute closer, beginning with super spare acoustic guitars, which drift into a shimmering field of prismatic glimmer, eventually exploding into another slab of blown out orchestral epic dream doom, totally majestic, and almost choral sounding, wrapped in sheets of staticky buzz, the sound getting more and more fierce and intense and threatening to blow your speakers, total chaos and catharsis, blissful but ultra intense, finally, relenting, and leaving gorgeous sonic vapor trails, laced with buried boy girl vox, a dreamy understated coda, to a seriously epic bit of orchestral buzz drenched bliss. So great.
We WILL have the standard version, keep your eyes peeled for it on a future list, or ask us to reserve you one, but those of you who want the QUADRUPLE DISC HANDMADE DELUXE BOXSET, now's the time...
MPEG Stream: "You Write Your Name In My Skin"
MPEG Stream: "You Write Your Name In Your Blood"

album cover NADJA Belles Betes (Beta-Lactam Ring) cd 15.98
One of our favorite Nadja records, previously only released on vinyl, finally available on cd!!
As we've mentioned in past reviews, it gets harder and harder to know what to say about Nadja and Aidan Baker records. Not just because there are so many of them, but because they all mine similar sonic territory, and heck, they all sound fantastic. This latest limited lp release is no different.
Baker, half of the duo that is Nadja (but you knew that), also has a strange habit of re-recording old songs, which drives completists and obsessive fans up the wall. Such is the case with Belles Betes, 4 solo Aidan Baker tracks, here reimagined and performed by Nadja, which basically means tracks that tended toward the minimal and drifty, get some crunch and buzz, pretty shimmer transformed into blessed out crush. And like we mentioned above, these tracks are fantastic, different enough from the originals that they're well worth owning. Probably most of you know what to expect from Nadja at this point, but just in case, the sound here is dripping with thick crumbling distortion, washed out weary vocals, muted machinelike percussion, a pounding Godfleshian post industrial metallic shoegaze, falling somewhere between M83 and Jesu, warm, thick, lustrous, epic, but somehow simultaneously melancholy and mournful.
The standout track might be "Green And Cold", the title track from a Baker disc we sold tons of, here the song becomes a bit of marginally new wave-y slowcore, spare and spacious, moody and haunting, and maybe the creepiest and mysteriously lovely Nadja jam yet.
MPEG Stream: "Beautiful Beast"
MPEG Stream: "Green & Cold"

album cover NADJA Belles Betes (Beta-Lactam Ring) lp 24.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
As we've mentioned in past reviews, it gets harder and harder to know what to say about Nadja and Aidan Baker records. Not just because there are so many of them, but because they all mine similar sonic territory, and heck, they all sound fantastic. This latest limited lp release is no different.
Baker, half of the duo that is Nadja (but you knew that), also has a strange habit of re-recording old songs, which drives completists and obsessive fans up the wall. Such is the case with Belles Betes, 4 solo Aidan Baker tracks, here reimagined and performed by Nadja, which basically means tracks that tended toward the minimal and drifty, get some crunch and buzz, pretty shimmer transformed into blessed out crush. And like we mentioned above, these tracks are fantastic, different enough from the originals that they're well worth owning. Probably most of you know what to expect from Nadja at this point, but just in case, the sound here is dripping with thick crumbling distortion, washed out weary vocals, muted machinelike percussion, a pounding Godfleshian post industrial metallic shoegaze, falling somewhere between M83 and Jesu, warm, thick, lustrous, epic, but somehow simultaneously melancholy and mournful.
The standout track might be "Green And Cold", the title track from a Baker disc we sold tons of, here the song becomes a bit of marginally new wave-y slowcore, spare and spacious, moody and haunting, and maybe the creepiest and mysteriously lovely Nadja jam yet.
LIMITED TO 500 COPIES. Pressed on 180 gram vinyl, packaged in a super thick book bound lp sleeve.

album cover NADJA Bliss Torn From Emptiness (Profound Lore) cd 14.98
We love Aidan Baker. That should be abundantly clear from a quick look at past reviews on the aQ list. The artist that can hold our attention, and can continue to push the boundaries of his or her sound, are few and far between, especially after 20, 30 or more releases. It helps in Aidan's case, that he has multiple outputs, Nadja for the heavy stuff, under his own name for the more abstract minimal stuff, as well as various other ensembles and collaborations. As much as we dig everything we've heard, our hearts belong to Nadja. Blending huge roiling waves of downtuned doom, and glistening blissful ambience, Nadja just might be the masters of this new wave of post-metal shoegaze blisscore or whatever you want to call it.
In addition to the steady stream of new releases, Baker has been picking older, long out of print classics, and not just re-issuing them, but also reworking them, after all, years later, given the opportunity, most folks might ant to make some changes to recordings they made years earlier. Frustrating for the true completists probably, but won't matter to most folks, as those cd-r's were limited enough that only a handful of folks actually got to hear them.
One of our favorite Nadja discs was always Bliss Torn From Emptiness, so we're super psyched to finally have it as a real cd, with better sound, and all new fancy artwork. We didn't play the two versions side by side, so we'd be hard pressed to point out any distinct differences, regardless, Bliss is a fucking massive, gorgeous, collection of dreamy Teutonic crush.
Unlike the more fluid washed out shimmer of later Nadja, Bliss finds the band lurching and pounding, almost industrial, with plenty of Godflesh going on. The drums, a staggering stuttering staccato, the guitars long streaks of blistering psych blur, gauzy clouds of whir and buzz, the whole song like some massive sonic beast, lumbering into the twilit night. The melody and mood intense and emotional, very cinematic, and very darkly dramatic.
As the record progresses (it's a three part suite), the rhythms smooth out a bit, slow down, lurch less and groove more, the atmospherics growing more shimmery and soft focus, with more stretches of tranquility, softly processed vocals, glimmering minimal drones, gauzy glitchery, while remaining really really heavy, the final part, after a looooong stretch of fuzzy warble and sun dappled drift, finishes off with a deafening supernova of sound, the guitars so white hot that they almost drown out the drums completely, a swirling chaotic soundscape, all end of the world psych blow out and bleary eyed solar eclipse shoegaze, a bit like playing ALL your M83 records at the same time and blasting them through loudspeakers mounted on satellites, showering the planet with brilliant blinding shards of glorious buzz.
MPEG Stream: "Part 1"
MPEG Stream: "Part 2"

album cover NADJA Bodycage (Profound Lore) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We have a friend who has become so obsessed with the work of Nadja and its mainman Aidan Baker, that he spends way more time than is healthy trolling the internet looking of long lost 7"s and rare out of print cd-r's. It's easy to see why though. Baker's sonic explorations are as mesmerizing as they are ominous. A truly unique musical voice in a suddenly way too crowded microniche. Call it doom. Or drone. Or dirge. Or better yet deathdoomdronedirge. It's a sound we can't get enough of, the logical extension of our obsession with the drone. And while we still love to drift off to the soft shimmer of a distant rumble, when you imbue a drone with more power, and more volume, and more wattage it becomes something new, a fearsome sonic beast, whether it's a subtly snarling growl of grit and grime, or a massive undulating wave of black hole fury, a drone possessed of power becomes a glorious thing to behold. And no one has as deft a hand with the drone than Baker, and Nadja is the ultimate drone via rock band. Beyond the ultra minimalism of SUNNO))), way prettier than the filthy dirges of Moss or Monarch, Nadja are almost like some indie slowcore band but lit from within by some otherworldy source. Every track is suffused with a warm rich glow that is almost blinding, but at the same time warm and inviting. It's heavy, sure, but it's more just plain beautiful. Like staring into the sun until your eyes start playing tricks on you. Imagine listening to a sound so loud, so bright, that the synapses in your brain misfire, and your ear scrambles to make sense of this sound, and in doing so, forges all kinds of unlikely connections, subtle melodic threads, paints a lush sonic portrait. Now imagine a music that was played to already sound like that, before it even got to you. Just imagine what your mind and your ears would do with a sound like that. Some sort of unreachable aural nirvana suddenly within reach. That's the music of Nadja. It's like watching a sunset slowed down so each subtle shimmer stretches out forever, each ray of sunlight is tangled up with another, writhing in sparkling glistening knots, slowly unraveling, stretching, into endless streaks of gorgeous muted color. Imagine Jesu, but dosed to the gills on Prozac, a shiny happy Godfleshian dirge, or a My Bloody Valentine riff looped and repeated forever, underpinned by some Can drum loop at 16 rpm, or a Teenage Filmstars 45 played at 33. This is epic ultradoom metal, but with the metal replaced by soft billowy clouds of fuzzy distortion, the howling fury twisted into dreamlike tranquility, the blasting beats pulled apart and sprinkled here and there like percussive raindrops. This is as soft and pretty as a dirge-y drone can get while still retaining its inherent doomic mass. Utter and absolute loveliness drenched in a thick patina of crushing heaviness. Impossible but perfect.
MPEG Stream: "Autosomal"
MPEG Stream: "Clinodactyl"

album cover NADJA Bodycage (Broken Spine ) cd 17.98
One of the better of Nadja's many great releases, been out of print for years, finally reissued on a new label! Here's what we said about the original Profound Lore version way back on list #241:
We have a friend who has become so obsessed with the work of Nadja and its mainman Aidan Baker, that he spends way more time than is healthy trolling the internet looking of long lost 7"s and rare out of print cd-r's. It's easy to see why though. Baker's sonic explorations are as mesmerizing as they are ominous. A truly unique musical voice in a suddenly way too crowded microniche. Call it doom. Or drone. Or dirge. Or better yet deathdoomdronedirge. It's a sound we can't get enough of, the logical extension of our obsession with the drone. And while we still love to drift off to the soft shimmer of a distant rumble, when you imbue a drone with more power, and more volume, and more wattage it becomes something new, a fearsome sonic beast, whether it's a subtly snarling growl of grit and grime, or a massive undulating wave of black hole fury, a drone possessed of power becomes a glorious thing to behold. And no one has as deft a hand with the drone than Baker, and Nadja is the ultimate drone via rock band. Beyond the ultra minimalism of SUNNO))), way prettier than the filthy dirges of Moss or Monarch, Nadja are almost like some indie slowcore band but lit from within by some otherworldy source. Every track is suffused with a warm rich glow that is almost blinding, but at the same time warm and inviting. It's heavy, sure, but it's more just plain beautiful. Like staring into the sun until your eyes start playing tricks on you. Imagine listening to a sound so loud, so bright, that the synapses in your brain misfire, and your ear scrambles to make sense of this sound, and in doing so, forges all kinds of unlikely connections, subtle melodic threads, paints a lush sonic portrait. Now imagine a music that was played to already sound like that, before it even got to you. Just imagine what your mind and your ears would do with a sound like that. Some sort of unreachable aural nirvana suddenly within reach. That's the music of Nadja. It's like watching a sunset slowed down so each subtle shimmer stretches out forever, each ray of sunlight is tangled up with another, writhing in sparkling glistening knots, slowly unraveling, stretching, into endless streaks of gorgeous muted color. Imagine Jesu, but dosed to the gills on Prozac, a shiny happy Godfleshian dirge, or a My Bloody Valentine riff looped and repeated forever, underpinned by some Can drum loop at 16 rpm, or a Teenage Filmstars 45 played at 33. This is epic ultradoom metal, but with the metal replaced by soft billowy clouds of fuzzy distortion, the howling fury twisted into dreamlike tranquility, the blasting beats pulled apart and sprinkled here and there like percussive raindrops. This is as soft and pretty as a dirge-y drone can get while still retaining its inherent doomic mass. Utter and absolute loveliness drenched in a thick patina of crushing heaviness. Impossible but perfect.
MPEG Stream: "Autosomal"
MPEG Stream: "Clinodactyl"

album cover NADJA Bodycage (Equation) 2lp 40.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
One of our favorite slabs of crushing glacial dirgedoomdrone beauty, available on vinyl for a super limited time. Released by Equation Records, so you know it's super swank (they released gorgeous looking and sounding lps from Fear Falls Burning, Landing, Troum and Bunnybrains). Ultra thick vinyl, deluxe gatefold sleeve, sealed shut with a sticker, each copy hand numbered. Most on black vinyl, a handful on white, but DON'T ASK for colored vinyl, it's random, just cross your fingers and maybe you'll get lucky. Plus we all know black vinyl sounds better. And black vinyl is so much darker and more evil and... well, BLACKER!! Never understood why folks wanted their Xasthur or SUNNO))) or Boris on yellow or pink vinyl instead of BLACK. Anyway, limited to 300 copies, we got less than we asked for, so be quick, or be prepared to be disappointed...
We have a friend who has become so obsessed with the work of Nadja and its mainman Aidan Baker, that he spends way more time than is healthy trolling the internet looking of long lost 7"s and rare out of print cd-r's. It's easy to see why though. Baker's sonic explorations are as mesmerizing as they are ominous. A truly unique musical voice in a suddenly way too crowded microniche. Call it doom. Or drone. Or dirge. Or better yet deathdoomdronedirge. It's a sound we can't get enough of, the logical extension of our obsession with the drone. And while we still love to drift off to the soft shimmer of a distant rumble, when you imbue a drone with more power, and more volume, and more wattage it becomes something new, a fearsome sonic beast, whether it's a subtly snarling growl of grit and grime, or a massive undulating wave of black hole fury, a drone possessed of power becomes a glorious thing to behold. And no one has as deft a hand with the drone than Baker, and Nadja is the ultimate drone via rock band.
Beyond the ultra minimalism of SUNNO))), way prettier than the filthy dirges of Moss or Monarch, Nadja are almost like some indie slowcore band but lit from within by some otherworldy source. Every track is suffused with a warm rich glow that is almost blinding, but at the same time warm and inviting. It's heavy, sure, but it's more just plain beautiful. Like staring into the sun until your eyes start playing tricks on you. Imagine listening to a sound so loud, so bright, that the synapses in your brain misfire, and your ear scrambles to make sense of this sound, and in doing so, forges all kinds of unlikely connections, subtle melodic threads, paints a lush sonic portrait. Now imagine a music that was played to already sound like that, before it even got to you. Just imagine what your mind and your ears would do with a sound like that. Some sort of unreachable aural nirvana suddenly within reach. That's the music of Nadja. It's like watching a sunset slowed down so each subtle shimmer stretches out forever, each ray of sunlight is tangled up with another, writhing in sparkling glistening knots, slowly unraveling, stretching, into endless streaks of gorgeous muted color. Imagine Jesu, but dosed to the gills on Prozac, a shiny happy Godfleshian dirge, or a My Bloody Valentine riff looped and repeated forever, underpinned by some Can drum loop at 16 rpm, or a Teenage Filmstars 45 played at 33. This is epic ultradoom metal, but with the metal replaced by soft billowy clouds of fuzzy distortion, the howling fury twisted into dreamlike tranquility, the blasting beats pulled apart and sprinkled here and there like percussive raindrops. This is as soft and pretty as a dirge-y drone can get while still retaining its inherent doomic mass. Utter and absolute loveliness drenched in a thick patina of crushing heaviness. Impossible but perfect.
MPEG Stream: "Autosomal"
MPEG Stream: "Clinodactyl"

album cover NADJA Corrasion (Foreshadow) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
For a while, every band wanted to sound like SUNNO))), and the bands that didn't usually had side projects that did, each offering up their own take on the slow motion barely moving glacial doom drone we all love so much. But pretty soon, those massive slabs of barely shifting buzz, the huge chunks of rumble that sounded like nothing but a guitar leaned against an amp, started to soften, get more melodic, almost dreamy, and thus a new genre was born. Not sure what it's really called. Some sort of blown out bliss pop. Still heavy, the tempos still lugubrious and plodding, everything drenched in distortion and blurry shimmery fuzz, but the songs now had a melancholy pop center, a glimmery glowing core. At the forefront of this new sound there were two, Jesu of course, Justin Broadrick's post-Godflesh project, and Nadja, the doomy side of a Canadian crafter of drones by the name of Aidan Baker. There are plenty of comers, the Angelic Process, Gog, and a handful of others, but it seems to be a race between Baker and his Nadja, and Broadrick and his Jesu. Broadrick probably has Baker beat in terms of songs, Jesu is a bonafide pop group at this point, verses, choruses, and HOOKS everywhere, but in most other ways, Baker has the upper hand. Certainly in terms of sheer number of releases, but also, Baker works more with texture and timbre, creating songs, but only in the most abstract sense, riffs repeat, each one a gorgeous cyclical trudge through dense clouds of swirling buzz, vocals drift, another layer of sound, everything bathed in effervescent reverb, and sun dappled delay. The distortion thick and soft, not harsh or jagged, the rhythms pulsing and throbbing as much as pounding.
On Corrasion, very little has changed. Which is a good thing. More of what we already love. The record is rife with sonic subtleties though, enough so that Nadja obsessives will have much to explore and discover, and thus Corrasion is far from redundant, instead functioning as another integral piece in Baker's seemingly never ending sonic puzzle, and beyond that, it just sounds so goddamn good. Hard to imagine ever getting sick of these endless gorgeous metallic dronescapes.
And while pretty much any of these records would be perfect for the Nadja newbie, Corrasion might just be the perfect place to start...
MPEG Stream: "Base Fluid"
MPEG Stream: "You Are As Dust"
MPEG Stream: "Corrasion"

album cover NADJA Dagdrom (Broken Spine) cd 14.98
We never thought we'd say this, but it's been a while since we've heard from Nadja! Two whole years in fact. There is a collaborative lp we're been meaning to review, but this is the first proper new full length since 2010's Autopergamene, and even if we were inclined to dismissively think "oh, another Nadja record", we throw it on, and are immediately reminded why we remain sort of Nadja obsessed.
Another collection of super distorted, darkly blissed out metalgaze perfection, this time the guitars sound even MORE distorted, crumbling and blurring into washed out smears of chordal gristle, and if that wasn't enough to get you excited about a new Nadja, howabout the fact that in place of the usual drum machine, is none other than Jesus Lizard drummer Mac McNeilly, who adds some human heft to the equation, making Nadja sound more like a real band, a fantastically blown out dirge metal slowcore band, the opener, a lurching super dynamic slab of dream doom bliss out, with hushed vocals, pounding drums, and the aforementioned gorgeous guitar crumble, even at 11 minutes it's still not nearly long enough.
The second track almost sounds like a Jesus Lizard song, a little bit Slinty too, with its spidery minor key guitar part, you can imagine it recast as a burst of bombastic noise rock, but here, it becomes the framework for a cool, constantly shifting metallic blowout, which features some gorgeously hushed moments, but also Nadja at their most propulsive and rocking. The second half gets mathy, and again super dynamic, and it has us wishing Nadja had hooked up with McNeilly long before now. The title track is epic slow burn Neur-Isis style heaviness, a sound that Nadja borrowed, and opted to reimagine and make their own instead of returning, and they continue to do it better than almost anyone else. Soaring and majestic and crumblingly heavy! Which leads into the closer, a 14 minute sprawl of tribal drumming, smoldering drones, blown out psychedelic noise, buried vox, all smeared into a shoegazey shimmer, which fades out midsong, leaving the second half spare and spaced out, a slowcore creep, with big drums driving swirling guitars, delicate melodies, and barely there vocals. So good. And well worth the wait.
MPEG Stream: "One Sense Alone"
MPEG Stream: "Falling Out Of Your Head"

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