Based on their many releases over the start of the 21st century, as well as their performances, it made sense to assume that the duo of Aidan Baker and Leah Buckareff would maintain their drone/zone moodouts for some time to come after they returned in late 2012 with their first album in two years. But Dagdrøm showed they had one heck of a joker up their sleeve -- a live drummer replacing their drum machine, and said drummer being none other than Jesus Lizard veteran Mac McNeilly. The combination of his careful, aggressive-when-needed playing and the core duo's performances makes this four-song collection a wonderful surprise, something that extends what the band can do rather than simply returning to the past. Even from the start of the opening "One Sense Alone," this is evident, with McNeilly starting with soft cymbal taps while Buckareff's calm, goth-strummed bass melody leads the way before everything suddenly crunches in big time, vocals and feedback 'n' fuzz. But the drumming lends its own extra kick and when the song really hits a perfect Lycia-like doom crunch at four-and-a-half minutes in; it's a beaut, just as the slow, beautiful ending is. The title track is perhaps the most "straightforward" thing here, but it's still good, while "Falling Out of Your Head" again leads with the bass and another calm but tenser-feeling start, with McNeilly's fills adding a focused energy that often calls Earth's 21st century work to mind. "Space Time and Absence" starts with a great rumble of drums and a snarling build, a very nice twist for the album ender before it strips back halfway through into open, calm space, and then finally, sweetly winding down. If this is the beginning of a new phase for Nadja, they couldn't have done it more compellingly.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett