• picastro / nadja Fool, Redeemer (CD, £12.50)

    label: Alien8

    Fool, Redeemer is semi-collaborative split release between Canadian acts Picastroand Nadja. Having toured together and shared a stage many times over the course of the last half-decade, the two bands thought it was time to finally release something together. Nominally a split album, with side A featuring tracks by Picastro and side B a sidelong track by Nadja, members of both groups contributed to each other’s songs. And a certain mutual influence seeped into the compositions, Picastro’s dark-folk appearing at the beginning of Nadja’s track “Venom” and Nadja’s trademark drone/dirge tendencies lending a heavier, noisier edge to Picastro’s songs. Nadja is a Canadian duo made up of Aidan Baker (guitars, vocals, woodwinds, drum machines) and Leah Buckareff (bass, accordion, vocals), alternately based in Toronto, Canada and Berlin, Germany. The project, originally formed in 2003, creates music which has variously been described as ‘ambient doom,’ ‘dreamsludge,’ and ‘metal-gaze,’ combining the atmospheric textures and elements of shoegaze and experimental/ambient music with the heaviness and volume of metal and noise. Nadja has toured extensively around the world and released numerous recordings on such labels as Alien8 Recordings, Hydrahead Records, Beta-Lactam Ring Records, Blocks Recording Club, and their own fledgling label, Broken Spine Productions. Toronto-based Liz Hysen’s (guitars, vocals, piano, violin) Picastro has existed in various forms with various players (including members of Final Fantasy and Rockets Red Glare), since 1997. Currently active as a trio, Hysen is joined by Brandon Miguel Valdivia (drums, percussion), and Nick Storring (cello, guitars, woodwinds, electronics). Picastro creates stark, brooding, discordant song which draw on folk and psych traditions, noise, and post-rock. The band has released four full-length albums on such labels as Pehr Records, Polyvinyl and Blocks Recording Club. Track Listing: Picastro: 1. Skullduggery, 2. Fire Perfect, 3. Darian, 4. A New Soul’s Benediction. Nadja: 5. Venom (23:10)

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