this is the debut-as-a-duo record from a place both wonderful and strange. a place both wonderful and strange is Russ/Niabi or Niabi/Russ. this is occult electronic dance pop performance art music.
Video for 1st single DONT at Slutist:
The sound of a place both wonderful and strange is that of a heady paganistic fever dream that keeps the waking world slightly at bay, a warm and heavy hand across your eyes. It is the sound of sleep paralysis, a darkness shaking and ravaging your psyche with unease, mystery and wonder. However, it’s not just about what you can hear. Often, if you’re hearing it, it’s too late.
a place both wonderful and strange exists in a world hyper-influenced by the occult, David Lynch and Janet Jackson, damaged by witch house and pop culture in equal measures. The proprietors of this raw, visceral mess are Russ Marshalek and Niabi Aquena. They met during a period of mutual shoegaze fetishism around 2010, but memories are hazy. What matters is that after Marshalek’s former band imploded and his solo album failed to impress him or properly convey his artistic passions, they met with mutual adoration in destabilization. With the addition of Aquena, a new era of a place both wonderful and strange was born fusing their individual production styles; Marshalek’s textured beats and DJ sensibilities and Aquena’s histrionic vocals.
Combining to create a magick concoction of sounds, videos, DJ mixes and live performances that have bewitched the imagination in unique weird ways, a friend has described their style as “making music with teeth”. They have played extensively in New York City at music venues and art establishments up and down the east coast. Notably capturing the interest of the David Lynch Foundation, Marshalek and Aquena have been commissioned to play PhilaMoca and MassMoca this year. Cfurrently they are working on several film soundtrack collaborations and New Jack Witch, a surreal full-length concept album and short film (the title track from which was debuted on Mishka in November of 2014).
As a place both wonderful and strange’s musical identiy whispers to a mystery befitting the name. The whispers grow louder until they are a scream meant to wake one from their fevered dream. Watch and listen, but don’t wake up.