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culture

Sound Advice: /ɪmpəˈfɛkʃ​(​ə​)​n/, by Nadja + Vampillia

This drone and classical collaboration embodies an eerie, icy threat.

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When experimental doom/drone/ambient project Nadja toured with Osaka, Japan’s Vampillia in 2012, the experience resulted in a collaborative record, The Primitive World (later re-released by Important Records as The Perfect World). Uniting Vampillia’s experimental take on instrumentation, somewhere between neo-classical and noise, with the impossibly thick walls of reverberating fuzz and distortion that Nadja’s infamous for, the result was beautifully textured and strange. This year saw Nadja and Vampillia touring together once again, and they’ve released a new joint effort, /ɪmpəˈfɛkʃ​(​ə​)​n/.

Towering and strange, the record is broken into a pair of monumental tracks. “Imperfect Worlds” begins with a blizzard of distortion, which creates a disorienting landscape that gradually begins to melt and ease thanks to the cool, silver tongues of the strings. There’s a sense of growing peace throughout the song, as the distortion settles into icy whorls, and the strings and piano gradually take over with their drifting and mournful melodic shapes.

While “Imperfect Worlds” is defined by a gradual gentling, “NeuPrimitive” is an embodiment of escalating tension. The strings have a horror soundtrack quality to them—something frantic and bloody. Here, the drone elements take on a brooding, almost gothic feel, become languidly violent. Even in the midst of the sticky heat and humidity of summer, /ɪmpəˈfɛkʃ​(​ə​)​n/ is a record that can make you shiver.

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