Pinprick guitar lines, swaths of ethereal brass, sub-bass thuds, the clatter of distorted percussion, fever dream lullaby melodies—it can be difficult to discern what sounds we’re hearing over the course of Nordra’s eponymous debut given the strange and unorthodox context of their combination. Monika Khot’s (also bass player/synth for the band Daughters) conceptual approach becomes abundantly clear in the live performances, where deftly crafted on-the-fly MPC beats serve as the static foundation to her dynamic compositions constructed out of guitar, pocket trumpet, analog synth, handmade electronics, and vocals. The harsh and rigid beats that open the album on “Apologize To Me, Humanity” demonstrate the first part of the equation; the layered horn drones, aluminum-neck guitar riffs, and beautifully crooked closing melody encapsulate the latter half. Across the album’s four hallucinatory tracks, it becomes abundantly clear that Khot is a musical mastermind, able to navigate multiple stylistic and tonal shifts while nimbly switching between wildly divergent instruments over the course of a single song, all while maintaining a singular and cohesive vision.
Khot and her Zen Mother musical compatriot Adam Wolcott Smith recorded Nordra in a house in Seattle in May of 2016. Several months later, Khot spent several weeks on the road performing the album in its entirety while on a summer tour with SUMAC and Jaye Jayle. SIGE Records was proud to release the album to the world on vinyl in 2017. SIGE released in 2018 “I was meant to live in a garden (live)” CS. Khot toured Europe extensively in March 2018 through Italy, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Germany.”
Khot often works with dance communities, including choreographers Alice Gosti and Coleman Pester, having premiered her scores at theaters and churches in Seattle, New York, and Italy. In 2017, she won a grant for her Seattle avant-rock group Zen Mother to re-score Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Holy Mountain, a soundtrack originally composed by Don Cherry in collaboration with the director, perhaps the most famous person to employ the unorthodox pocket trumpet that saturates so much of Nordra’s open spaces.
Nordra’s new record, PYLON II, released on September 21st, 2018 on SIGE Records is a score created for a modern dance concerning oppressive architecture, mass data systems, and the individual. It was placed #20 of 50 Best Albums of the Year by The Wire Magazine, and #1 of 10 Best Noise and Industrial Albums of the Year in its December issue.
No shows booked at the moment.