Brian Eno said that ambient music should be ‘as ignorable and as it is interesting’. When I say that Nadja have achieved that with Desire in Uneasiness where so many others have failed, it’s not a putdown. By treating the tropes and riffs of doom metal like parts of a soundscape they’ve created an insidious, rocking type of atmospheric noise. They have more in common with Grails, who they’ve toured with, than the obligatory name-drop, Sunn 0))).
It is loud and heavy, prickling with feedback and reverb. Live, it might actually flatten you. On CD, the buzzing and sub-sonic vibrations are smoothed into a wall of sound, an effect that makes it subliminal, part of the atmosphere. You’re barely aware that ‘Affective Fields’ ends when the rising crescendo of ‘Uneasy Desire’ creeps up on you, chthonic and droney and a bit psychedelic. The subconscious asserting itself.
They’ve struck a balance between the heavy and hypnagogic. You could probably headbang to it, if you really wanted to, or you could read de Nerval. It’s the fact that Adrian Baker and Leah Buckareff are probably doing ‘ambient’ better than most ambient bands out there that fascinates me.