The duo apparently see Nadastrom as more of an evolution than a reinvention. "Moombahton itself was an experimentation, so moombahton is alive in this album because we're experimenting," Nada recently said. "Falling Down" has lumbering kick drums that are more like anchors than anything propulsive, recalling the slow sway of moombahton (as does moody highlight "Hide The Advisement"). Nadastrom doesn't feel like a straight dance floor record, but rather one that absorbs tropes from dance genres, something that suits Friends Of Friends, their new home. Nadastrom is most easily comparable to Tomas Barfod's Salton Sea, an underrated record that approached dance music with a similarly kaleidoscopic palette and an ear for great hooks. They go straight-up pop with Nina K on "House Shoes," fortified by roiling drum & bass low-end, and then veer towards psychedelic free-association on "Phantom Eyes," which features a typically scorching vocal from RYAT.
Nadastrom have a keen sense of musicality that goes beyond the mindless blare of moombahton, which makes their driving dance floor moments feel a bit reserved. "Somebody" has a vocal sample that borders on screamo but unfurls in gorgeous slow motion, while their requisite 303 track, "Kids," finds a middle-ground between clichéd revival and sad acid sounds.
Nadastrom's approachability is both a strength and a weakness. It's civilized enough to move on from moombahton, but at times its crossover aspects seem too calculated. That feeling is exacerbated by "Medium Redeye," a slice of sunny-day Dilla that bursts with colour in a way that makes the rest of the album sound straight-laced. Nadastrom is a solid step in a different direction, and immaculately produced by two talented musicians. But considering Dave Nada is an artist credited for creating a whole new genre, it feels a little safe. So far, Nadastrom's transition is toward cozy familiarity rather than something truly new.