Nefas – Sora

Posted: 8 December 2022 in Singles and EPs
Tags: , , , , , , ,

23rd September 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Perhaps it’s that media has a numbing effect, or perhaps it’s simply that however strong the quality of the reportage, it can never truly convey the details in a way that are relatable. I’ve spent the best part of the last year seeing footage or the War in Ukraine and seeing and reasoning about the humanitarian crisis, and, like most people, it’s been quite overwhelming. And yet, ultimately, it’s just more TV, more news media online, on the radio.

I receive missives from around the globe, most containing new music for my ears, and this week, the arrival of Nefas EP by Sora, an offshoot of Kadaitcha piqued my interest with the offer of instrumental southern Ukrainian jazzcore.

Sure, I’m up for a challenge, and hell it’s definitely that. But if the music is a challenge – and if you look up ‘challenge’ in the dictionary, you’ll find it starts playing this EP – the backdrop to its release is even harder to process, with the context of its having been recorded and released shortly before its makers fled Ukraine and decamped to Estonia for their survival, leaving their musical equipment behind and a new Kadaitcha album in the can and in suspense.

Like many, I simply take my home and possessions for granted, writing in my review of the last Kadaitcha release – a lathe-cut 7” ‘with a true physical format, apart from fire or flooding, you have something pretty robust’. It feels pretty crass in the face of everything, in hindsight.

But… but… these guys have continued to make music right up to that moment of departure. It’s not heroic, but a real indicator of just how essential art is, even in the most desperate of time. And more than anything, it shows how strong the need for normality is in the most extreme of situations. The world is seemingly ending, what do you do? Keep going, do as much as you can of what you were doing before. Because it’s a way to cope. Channel that anxiety creatively, and who knows?

Well, we know now. Sora is something special.

The five tracks drag the listener on a wild journey, with the first piece, ‘kings’ but a prelude to the frenetic manic sonic explosion of ‘limit’, a frenzy of crashing drums, jagged guitars, freewheeling bass grooves and crazy brass that brings a whirlwind of discord and by the end, it’s all whipped into a head-spinning cyclone of chaos. It’s a maelstrom of madness, there’s just so much going on all at once, and so much noise and dissonance.

‘Schizoid’ brings some truly nefarious low-end to the party, and it’s hurled against some crashing drums, and in combination conjures a tempestuous storm of sound that rages and pummels, before ‘No’ lumbers heavily onto a hooting, tooting onslaught of mayhem.

There’s a serious risk of a headache with this one, but it’s a headache that need poking: Sora is brain-bending, dizzying, and at times intense and harsh. But that’s why we like it.

AA

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