Joachim Nordwall “Healing Music”

In this rotten age, Joachim Nordwall’s harsh, angular electronics tap into something sacral to erase the anxious horror spread around us. This music is pointed and rigidly refined. Oscillations electrify our firing synapses, overloading the thought patterns and distracting each movement until a comatose-like tranquility sets in. Healing Music is obliterating.

Warning sirens ping the distance to the exit using reflective metallic surfaces as waypoints on the B1. The grinding resonance is soothing in the way it pummels us into a fine powder. Nordwall’s approach here is subversive, reconfiguring what we think of when music is called ‘healing’ or ‘restorative.’ Melodies lurk on B2, shrouded in the darkness beneath a mountain of snapping electric wires. Synthetic abstractions spark at divergent, dizzying cadences, alternating between the foreground and background to keep us distracted. These tracks are potent and sharp.

Shredded analog matrices once channeled a river of gloss, but those days disappeared ages ago, swallowed by the skittering opener. Trying to stay alive, they search for the tools to produce something relaxing before ultimately caving in on themselves. Even immersed in these cutting, gradient tones, Healing Music draws listeners in. Formless, spectral passages begin to conglomerate around honed sonic architecture while sputtering saw waves become a blitzkrieg, a harsh ear massage. Slow, pounding tones birth rhythmic anxiety in spades.

A3 snaps into high-frequency microscopic squall lines that spit fractures in every direction. Proto-dub rhythms bound toward a gaping pit aglow with a firebath promise. Irregular rhythms cast off from shuttered clubs are rescued from the piles of detritus decaying in back alleys. Resuscitated on the album closer, they climb the walls in search of the sky, disjointed from years of neglect but propelled by their own power. A solemn figure dances lithely on harmonic bass patterns within the continuous churn of machine chatter. The world outside is unrecognizable. These strange, jagged aural landscapes offer a different kind of escape. One person’s cold, abrasive environment can be another’s beacon of solace. 

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