DALO aka Nadia D’Alò emerged at the ESP Institute in 2018 with a brutal remix for Benedikt Frey’s 'Private Games'. Having been floored by her sinister aesthetic and stripped-back approach to production, as well as being long time fans of INIT (her collaborative project with Benedikt), the ESP institute was compelled to commission a dedicated solo work. Across four beastly tracks, Nadia pulls from a gritty palette of instrumentation, combining ritualistic drums, industrial percussion and scratchy acid lines with a blurry montage of demonic sighs and whispers. The result is deeply hypnotic. As we slip into the abyss of her psyche, we attempt attaching to the repetitive instrumentation, clinging to what’s familiar for a sense of security, however, every element in Nadia’s world betrays us as it slowly mutates and slips from our grasp, leaving us in a perpetual state of bewilderment. Similar to a deep dream or a heavy trip, incidents in the music replay on mental loop, accumulating layer upon layer of subconscious meaning, deteriorating our senses until we’re completely removed from our safe zone. It's precisely this dose of danger that keeps the listener inquisitive and on-edge, a potent potion that Nadia has proven effective without over-cooking or adding extraneous ingredients. On the surface, there is an admirable dryness to her tonality, even through the intermittent tape echoes, detuned vocals and haunted smears of reverb, the music is never drowning. Such achievements are the marks of a bold and confident artist, one whose firm grasp of a particularly psychedelic craft supports a warped command of nuance. It’s with great pleasure we find DALO’s agenda aligns so strongly with the ESP Institute.
Published: 27th September 2019