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Nicholas Szczepanik – The Chiasmus

Nicholas Szczepanik

CD, Basses Frequences/SRA, 2009

Back in 2008 I was fortunate enough to end up with a review copy of Mr. Szczepanik’s “Iomicin” and, when offered the chance to review a newer offering of his, I jumped on the chance. Mr. Szczepanik has only been doing releases for a few years from what I can see and the quality of everything I have heard from him is quite astounding.
The Opener “Another End of New” has a very ‘electric’ feeling to me. A lot of the drones have a certain buzz to them that makes me think of machinery or electricity while “We Define Everything in Desperation” is more calming territory. Everything on this album seems to meld together so well. When the voice drifts in during “We Define Everything in Desperation” it doesn’t distract from the other sounds at all, and just as quickly as it comes it fades back into non-existence. “Chiasmus” concludes with the fittingly titled “Lose Yourself”, an eighteen-minute piece that carries you along in a shimmering sea of pleasant drones that gradually build up in substance and volume. However, the endig caught me a bit off-guard with the blast of noise – in fact maybe I shouldn’t be forewarning people…
“The Chiasmus” is a varied album containing hints of noise, subtle voices and lots of interesting sublime drones that range from the calm to the slightly unsettling with some moments that even hint at something dark lurking about. After digesting the album a few times I would go so far as to say it has a cinematic quality – the different moods expressed would be easily be at home in a movie. If you’re a fan of drones and ambient this really is an album you should give a listen. Upon completing this review I’ve listened to it a good three times or so already and have plans for a few more!


— Charlie Martineau

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