CD-R, Faraday’s Discs, 2008
Nicholas Szczepanik is an American musician living in Washington, DC. Being another artist I’m new to, I did some online reading up on his work and threw this disc in with much anticipation.
Things are kicked off with “Aphasia” which is a nice drone piece with enough high frequencies resonating along among things to keep it from being too calming. It has a stretch somewhere in the 7 minute range where it assaults the listener with an almost modern Whitehouse style noise rush – just in case you were getting too comfortable in your meditations – before eventually going back to the more soothing side. This is the longest track on this release, breaking the 11-minute mark and also probably my personal favourite.
The rest of the pieces on this disc are shorter but still lend themselves to interesting atmospheres of their own. Next up there’s “Vertera” which makes me feel like I’m in some sort of strange building during a rainstorm at first but, as the sounds get stranger, it definitely becomes some place I wouldn’t want to be. “Semblance” drones along very nicely and would be perfectly calming if it weren’t for the use of eerie high frequencies and its gentle, almost “crunchy” sounding undercurrent towards the end. In a lot of ways it has a vibe of early industrial music but with a much more modern take on it – music like this really wouldn’t be out of place in some sort of horror movie involving robots.
“Iomicin” wraps up with the track “Yellowed” which continues earlier themes of the album but in a mostly ‘gentler’ way. I didn’t do much in the lines of trying to identify what was used to do what on this album because a lot of it I couldn’t tell. Mr. Szczepanik definitely is a creative individual and goes about his music in a unique way that keeps you guessing and keeps things interesting. Even though I hadn’t heard the name before this review I’m now very interested in hearing more work from this individual.
— Charlie Martineau