Thursday, December 4, 2008

Noise and Brice Marden

Somehow I missed this album last year, but after listening to their last album Touched a lot this year I found Radiance of Shadows. I could try to describe their sound, but Pitchfork may have done it better, writing, "When Toronto electro-metal duo Nadja are at the height of their powers, the entire world feels as if it could collapse beneath the pressure of a manipulated guitar, a drum machine, a bass, and two bent voices. Radiance of Shadows, the fourth full-length album the band has released this year, pushes to and pulls from such apocalyptic promise for 80 minutes, saturating their cathedral volume with sounds both thick and rich."

This album art can be a little misleading if you were to guess the sound of the band by just the album art. This is not a light/airy album. I think Nadja albums are amazing in that they are so full that they almost become empty - so in that way the snow image is quite appropriate. There is so much noise and feedback and distortion on the album that to me it reminds me of when I listened to a Brice Marden lecture (download it from MOMA here) recently and he said that essentially he was not painting empty/minimal canvases - he was over-painting and flooding the image so much with paint and wax that it became one solid, full layer. Nadja is what that might sound like...

Brice Marden, Passing, 1970 - photo from janvaneyck on flickr

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