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Nadja The Stone Is Not Hit by the Sun, Nor Carved with a Knife (November 4th, 2016)

Nadja — The Stone Is Not Hit by the Sun, Nor Carved with a Knife (November 4th, 2016)

 Nadja — The Stone Is Not Hit by the Sun, Nor Carved with a Knife (Nov. 4th, 2016) Nadja — The Stone Is Not Hit by the Sun, Nor Carved with a Knife (November 4th, 2016)♠Ξ♠   Nadja is a duo of Aidan Baker & Leah Buckareff making music that encompasses experimental/drone, ambient, shoegazer, & doom metal.
Location: Canada ~ Berlin, Germany
Album release: November 4th, 2016
Record Label: Gizeh Records
Duration:     79:57
Tracks:
1. The Stone     10:21
2. The Sun     11:52
3. The Knife     34:56
4. Untitled IV     22:48
Personnel:
♠Ξ♠   Aidan Baker and Leah Buckareff
Description:
♠Ξ♠   Nadja return on November 4th with The Stone Is Not Hit By The Sun, Nor Carved With a Knife — their first release for Gizeh Records. The Canadian/Berlin~based ambient doom duo of Aidan Baker and Leah Buckareff continue their ultra~prolific output with a monolithic record which explores the depths of heavy noisescape~related music. Encompassing distorted riffs and hypnotic rhythms the album sonically attempts to continue on from the more structured elements of the duo’s recent Queller album, coupling that approach with Nadja’s more traditional sprawling, dense and challenging sounds.
♠Ξ♠   The relentless fuzzed~out textures repeat and build into a blissful and cathartic whole — a place to be completely immersed. In the deep, glacial and all~consuming world that Baker and Buckareff provide us with here, there is a will to dissolve, to let the record wash right over you or perhaps even through you. At times crushingly beautiful, Stone, Sun, Knife is brought to life by its clever restraints with quieter interludes serving a perfect purpose against it’s more intense, heavier moments.
♠Ξ♠   The album’s intriguing title comes from a runic inscription on an Icelandic burial stone but the phrase also appears on the Eggja Stone which provided some of the lyrical content on the record.
♠Ξ♠   Nadja have a habit of transcending genres and indeed throughout their career they have been incredibly difficult to pin down. The Stone Is Not Hit By The Sun, Nor Carved With A Knife is a welcome addition to that hefty catalogue and stands up tall against their most impressive work.
Review:
BY JOHN GARRATT, 11 November 2016;  Score: 7
♠Ξ♠   Nadja’s music is a paradox. In terms of texture and mood, the experimental duo conjures something that behaves like ambient music. In execution, this very same music has more to do with the metallic side of post~rock than anything your run~of~the~mill ambient musician might attempt.
♠Ξ♠   Guitarist/vocalist Aidan Baker and bassist Leah Buckareff use the Nadja name to run their own drone marathons, ones that can out~drone and out~distort the mopiest of shoegazers. When these two plug in and press record, they do so for the long haul. The Stone Is Not Hit By the Sun, Nor Carved with a Knife, Nadja’s first album on the Gizeh label, contains only three tracks yet lasts almost 80 minutes. The second “song” could be considered an album unto itself.
♠Ξ♠   The Stone Is Not Hit By the Sun… keeps an eye out for structure, but leaves itself enough wiggle room to shape it in its own sweet time. First track “The Stone” is a doom riff sandwich where the middle section plays out with a start~stop reminder of Nadja’s dynamic extremes. When they mute their strings, there is no hum or lingering reverb. The actions just stop. Baker’s foreboding guitar figure plays a larger part in shaping the track than his vocals, which could be reciting just about anything when he’s in the thick of it. As Buckareff throbs steadily on the low end, Baker fills every remaining frequency available with pure sound, including a drum machine that surprisingly adds a lot to the noise’s overall power.
♠Ξ♠   Track two is appropriately named “The Sun”, and this is the one that stretches past the half~hour mark. Baker and Buckareff play it a little closer to the chest this time, letting the intermittent pounding of some electronic tom~toms do most the talking. Again, Baker sings as if his voice is just another instrument that is no more important than any of the others, mixing it all together into one unit as the volume steadily increases. Unlike “The Stone” which was riff~oriented, the foundation for “The Sun” is more chordal. Hence, the harmonies and dissonances mix together into a gigantic, noisy, sun~scorched blur. The track falls deathly quiet within its final four minutes as if it had suddenly collapsed from exhaustion.
♠Ξ♠   “A Knife” is probably my highlight of the album. The static is mixed nice and low, the harmonies sprinkled over top are more nuanced, and the overall mood is far more subtle than the two preceding tracks. It’s not that Nadja doesn’t do noise well, it’s just that “A Knife” gives The Stone Is Not Hit By the Sun, Nor Carved With a Knife additional depth. It helps to have some falling action after 57 minutes of intense noise — not unlike going for a steady walk after running in a race.
♠Ξ♠   The musical genre of experimental noise is and will continue to be misunderstood by many. Anyone can make noise and just about anyone can experiment. But not everyone can make noise sound like a dry stone baking under a burning sun all while placing you under quasi~hypnosis. In other words, Nadja uses noise as a means to achieve a very music end. For everyone else, it’s just an end. ♠Ξ♠   http://www.popmatters.com/
Label: http://www.gizehrecords.com/
PRESS:
THE WIRE
♠Ξ♠   “No other band does this kind of sensually solipsistic post~metal quite so assuredly”.
THE SKINNY
♠Ξ♠   “Fans of slowcore titans Codeine, or even Mogwai, will find much to admire here.... generous throughout, asking much of the listener and paying back with interest every time. Superb.”
CVLT NATION
♠Ξ♠   “At times crushingly beautiful, The Stone Is Not Hit By The Sun, Nor Carved With A Knife is brought to life by its clever restraints with quieter interludes serving a perfect purpose against its more intense, heavier moments, which overall are just simply massive in their almost otherworldly heaviness.”
AVE NOCTUM
♠Ξ♠   “Ultimately, each movement owns the space in which it exists, each differing in character, each stamping its authority upon the listener. Fans of drone and ambience will find these new worlds excitingly moreish.”
MERCHANTS OF AIR
♠Ξ♠   “On this album, the duo further explores the enormous world of drones, fuzzed-out ambient, post~rock and doom metal. The latter to that extent that the music often reminds me of funeral doom bands like Evoken, Shape Of Despair and Sunn O))). Yes, drone doom, funeral doom, whatever. Slow, heavily distorted doom songs, alternating with atmospheric guitar ambient, drums and delayed shoegazing vocals, this is Nadja pur~sang.”
BEACH SLOTH
♠Ξ♠   “Nadja create one of the finest albums of 2016.”
AURAL AGGRAVATION
♠Ξ♠   “In exploring the contrasts of volume, texture and mood, The Stone is Not Hit by the Sun, Nor Carved With a Knife is a more considered and ultimately rewarding work.”
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Nadja The Stone Is Not Hit by the Sun, Nor Carved with a Knife (November 4th, 2016)

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