Not Knowing [Excerpt]
Nicholas Szczepanik has been undeniably killing it lately. Last year’s
Sueños and Entre los Árboles both confirmed his mastery of epic minimal drone in two distinctively different manners. Sueños highlighted Szczepanik’s relatively new fascination with the interactions of pure frequencies while Entre los Árboles was more in the style of Szczepanik’s previous work with its gorgeous sustained synth harmonies. On Not Knowing, Szczepanik manages to artfully combine these two strains of his work into one beautifully coherent composition.
Not Knowing develops on a piece of the same name from 2011’s Ante Algo Azul and transforms that work into an immaculate circular composition. The record begins with an austere drone, but then slowly transforms into a beautiful wash of synth harmony that almost imperceptibly fades slowly back into the drone that began the composition. It makes sense that Szczepanik dedicates this record to Eliane Radigue because, like her work, Not Knowing unfolds itself with extreme subtlety, and carefully places the listener in new sound worlds without making them feel like much has changed at all. It’s a further testament to his distinct skill at crafting magnificently entrancing long form works.
Nicholas Szczepanik’s Not Knowing is out February 25 via Desire Path Recordings. You can listen to an excerpt of the record below:
“Goya’s Skull” / “Untitled From North Africa”
Repetition and difference, repetition and difference, repetition and difference – Homi walked out onto the dance-floor, hands crumpled with sweat around his slippery pint glass, stomping hard. He thought for a moment about the abandoned saxophone sat unloved in his cellar.
Structure and action, structure and action, structure and action – Homi screamed and wooped, kicked a wall and jumped the record, the bodies around stopped and started. He was in control, but time was percolating.
Kick and snare and kick and snare and kick and snare – Homi, boiling hot, stripped down to his tight-white Y-fronts. The disapproving glares of his peers panned, delayed and reverberated all around him.
Whilst are an expert balancing act, scratching a heavy groove from which to enjoy their deviations.
They distill an instantly welcome sonic mood; some Neu! propulsion, some Sun Ra spatiality, that early DFAattention to analogue detail; without any direct pilfering. They are no magpies, using such sounds as a point of departure. Born from the fertile ground of Glasgow’s Green Door Studios and snapped up swiftly by JD Twitch for his Optimo Music label, they sound scarily solid for a band so young.
The two songs sampled above – “Goya’s Skull” and “Untitled From North Africa” – make up the A-side to forthcoming EP Everything That Was There Was There out on Feb 24.
• Optimo Music: http://www.optimomusic.com
“Structures in Stasis”
Add Debacle Records to the list of labels in the Hobo Cubes discography. On February 11, the Seattle label will release Apex Ideals, the new full-length from the Montreal project, headed by none other than Mr. Hobo Cults himself, Francesco De Gallo. “Structures in Stasis” is the first song premiered from the upcoming album and it really takes the throbbing bass vibes of that Actress album R.I.P. in the opposite direction: toward heaven instead of through the seven layers of EDM hell, but then again, it’s just the first song we’ve heard, so who knows where it will end up. Ascend.
4. You go back later to see. Flowers have bloomed, and they’ve turned to face the sun.
3. You plant the album on the grassy side of the frontage road where the exit feeds into your neighborhood. If anyone out there sees you and goes to scope it out after you leave, they wouldn’t even know what to do with it. You think they’d leave it be. “It’s like a coaster or something.” “Maybe it’s one of those geo-cash things.”
2. You order the plantable card for Mitral Transmissions, a new album comprising four pieces of music made by Greg Fox (Guardian Alien, Zs, GDFX, Ben Frost collabs, formerly Liturgy, etc.) to mimic and expand on his own cardiac rhythms.
1. You press play on this Soundcloud embed and listen to “Its OK” now.
2. Greg Fox squints at his computer screen as he programs intricate polyrhythms of sampled percussion and woodwinds. He adjusts the spatialization of the tones in the upper register again, panning a certain layer of chiming steel-drum melody further out to mingle with the lush electronic drones at the edges of the mix. A human heartbeat dictates the session’s pulse and intuition, looming as a patient murmur in the bass range, uniting a lattice of fluctuations into one slow, cresting breath.
3. Greg Fox straps on a bio-sensory interface that feeds data to Milford Graves’s computer.
[Graves] talks a lot about how the heartbeat contains all the rhythms that drummers play. He showed me during a session. He made a recording of my heartbeat and then we were looking at the waveform. The heartbeat has a lot more than just the ‘duh duh’ sound, there’s a lot going on you can’t hear, and he was zooming in one little part of the waveform and upped the gain, and all of a sudden you have a shuffle beat. It was like all the Casio keyboard preset rhythms are right there in the heart.
Mitral Transmissions will be available February 18 from Data Garden.
Sometimes it REALLY feels like “Mulatu.” Like, reality is just a systematic way of breaking down your daily cycle/life into an intricate animation penned by Jára Plachý. All you want to do is reach the top of that mountain, but the menagerie of advertisements surrounding your life is telling you people are okay; your life is okay; going 120 mph on the BQE is a worse idea than buying dinner at [a chain restaurant]. Dva understands you, though. Not only do they guide you toward the healing light of peaceful prophecy, but allow you to vent aggression by way of sonic output. By utilizing an plethora of horns, vocals, percussion, claps, shakers… “oh, just EVERYTHING!!!” …this Czech duo gets blood flowing the opposite direction, slicing you a crooked smile, and beats a path you’ve only dreamed of taking.
Dva’s new album Nipomo is poppin’ off on Northern Spy Records Feb. 25 in LP, cassette (!!!!!!!!!!!!!), CD, and digital formats. U.S. pre-orders can be placed here, and non-U.S. pre-orders over here. “Mulatu” single can be downloaded here, as you should be listening to this hourly. PeeP!
The @MCTREEG EP
As Chocolate Grinder’s resident rap guy, I could use this occasion to bitch and moan about how Scion AV incorrectly refers toThe @MCTREEG EP as TREE’s third project; the Toyota brand’s insistence on releasing only songs with clean lyrics almost ruins the line from “Soul Trappin / I Believe” that goes “Malcolm was an addict and Versace was a—;” the cover of this release looks a hell of a lot like the cover of billy woods’ Dour Candy… But what good would bitching and moaning do?
I’ve said a lot about soul trap impresario TREE since first hearing him in early 2011, but as El Viathan can attest, my favorite thing to say about TREE is … “TREE!” [Editor’s note: Samuel is a liar, but yes this is true.] You can do it too, listener. Simply prep your voice to sound as gravelly and twangy as possible, then press your tongue to the roof of your mouthpiece and shout it out, short and sweet: “TREE!” You’ll see this works best in crowded elevators, subway cars, and other confined spaces where you find yourself in the company of complete strangers.
Download or sTREEm The @MCTREEG EP below: