Review – Nadastrom’s “The Saved” EP

by Marcus K. Dowling

There will be a day in the very near future when Washington, DC’s Nadastrom will be a permanent fixture in the top 10 of DJ Magazine’s yearly rankings of the Top 100 DJs in the world. This will occur if for no other reason than Dave Nada and Matt Nordstrom may be the perfect cataclysmic storm of DJing and remixing talent and otherworldly production ability. Matt Nordstrom was already one of the most respected remixers, producers and engineers on the planet. With work under his belt with Dubfire, Pete Tong, Deep Dish and Nic Faniculli amongst others, he had a tech house pedigree that most would comfortably retire knowing that this was the apex of their career. Dave Nada’s story is much the same. World travelled punk rock/hardcore hero shaped by DC raving and deep house partying, dipped and bathed in the sea of classic Baltimore club (with a residency at the legendary “Tax Lo” dance party when it was claimed by SPIN magazine as America’s hottest dance party) and Baltimore’s streets. There’s nothing that Dave doesn’t know how to touch and turn into gold. Of all the things “winning” about DC right now, Nadastrom are really the godfathers of the “DC winning” movement, combining all elements of what makes the city phenomenal into an electrifying and exemplary witches brew of sound.

Bmore club legend Scottie B once referred to Nadastrom as the “future of club music.” Well, the future is now. Their latest release, The Saved EP, from Switch’s Dubsided imprint is the release that’s really going to take them into the stratosphere. Nadastrom’s a favorite of everyone from Diplo, the Crookers, Drop the Lime, A-Trak and Jonny Blaze so, as positioned as your favorite DJ’s favorite DJs, now they ascend to the level of commanding the respect in public that they’ve always had in private.

“Save Us (aka Jack’s Horny)” is a howling groundswell of sweaty sex panic, Lionel Hampton meeting Big Mama Thornton on Mars with an insistent rave groove. With the  thickest of bass, classic club breaks and hi hats everywhere, and the year’s most pastoral breakdown, it’s an absolute treat. They took the recipe that made “Pussy” a #1 single on Beatport, and pared it down and streamlined it into a matured, yet still club ready product. Whereas “Pussy” breaks down over and over and over again, only to be built up, then break down over and over and over again, “Save Us” neatly builds and breaks down, making it a much more accessible turn for the duo.

“Squarez” starts off as a hot Baltimore club track, then slyly morphs into disco violins, and hits when both combine with a lovely minimal synth line to be simply great dance music. “Ghetto Pass” rides muted basslines and congo drums into racing synths and quirky noise for a masterful production.

Nadastrom’s touring for this EP around the world after a Friday stop in DC for their release party. What’s next we hear from the duo is that they want to release the Nadastrom full length debut. When DC finally crosses the finish line, expect, as always, Dave Nada and Matt Nordstrom, Nadastrom, to be first in line.