Album Review

Every Hidden Color – Luz (Streamline, 2012)

Every Hidden ColorI (excerpt) (Streamline)

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I’m so fucking psyched this is finally seeing the light of day. Luz has been completed for about two years, innocuously waiting for the right label to give it the love it deserves (thanks, Streamline). Every Hidden Color is a duo of the inimitable Nicholas Szczepanik and Argentinian field recorder/droner Frederico Durand. These two guys work unbelievably well together, gliding effortlessly between digital drones and organic field recordings. There’s two side-long pieces, both weaving and harmonizing in the most glorious way, the sounds mimicking and playing off each other, the rushing water, short bird calls, nondescript shuffling, and insect buzz perfectly joining flowing drones, ambient rhythmic clicks, and deep rumbling. This is one of the most lush records, bleeding warmth and comfort, a stirring of bliss that gently shifts to subtle majesty, the softness of the world captured in a gorgeous tapestry of sounds. Too much to love on this, a fantastic balance of complexity & simplicity, Luz outshines so many other albums this year. Here’s hoping Szczepanik and Durand have some more records up their sleeve.

Album Review

Nicholas Szczepanik – Please Stop Loving Me (Streamline, 2011)

Nicholas Szczepanik Please Stop Loving Me (excerpt)

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This is difficult for me. I haven’t written a full album review since Mind Over Mirrors on June 1. That’s almost 2 months (not that I’m counting or anything). But it’s not just about having a hard time gettin my groove back, I’m also having some performance anxiety. You see, Please Stop Loving Me is downright astonishing and possibly the best drone record this year, and trying to do justice to it while my gears are rusted over is a bit nerve wracking.

New work from Nicholas Szczepanik isn’t rare. If you’ve been keeping up with his Ante Algo Azul subscription series, you’d know he’s been putting out a new 15-20 minute piece every month. However, a new full length, well, we haven’t had one of those since LAST YEAR. Withdrawal inducing, to say the least. But the best news about this recent one, though, is that it’s the longest single piece Szczepanik has released (I think?), just about 50 minutes worth of beautiful tones & dreamlike drones. Fucking HEAVEN.

I can’t imagine a nicer way to spend each and every day than listening to Please Stop Loving Me. It dances in such organic ways, shifts and glides so smoothly, pure delicacy seeping through each moment. It’s like swimming through a spring fed lake, floating from pockets of warm to cool, rising and falling but always completely immersed.

As wonderfully serene as it is, the whole time you’re wading waist deep in emotion, the sustained & intertwined tones heavy hearted, cascading heartache, longing, and hope. An elegiac softness matched with poignant massiveness that ends on the brightest, most uplifting note, fading into the horizon.

I’ve listened to this countless times and every time it’s more breathtaking than the last. It’s almost overwhelming how gorgeous it is. If I was the type of dude that was brought to tears by a record, Please Stop Loving Me would have made me weep until I collapsed.