Impressively expansive 48 minute suite of floating symphonic ambience. The fourth fully released album by Nicholas Szczepanik works deeper into the beatless scapes he's perfected over the last half decade with releases on Small Doses and Ruralfaune among others, opening out his widely spatialized drones and sweeping strings with a confident and refined touch underlined by a gorgeous cinematic intent.
Coming from an utterly different direction but achieving a result that's just as excellent, is Szczepanik's intriguingly titled release. I've no idea as to the actual source(s) of the sounds, but the general result is a rich cream with an organ-y flavor, though one suspects there might be orchestral and choral elements, all combined and threshed via electronics. No matter, really. It's unavoidable to mention the Eno of "On Land" here (and even a taste of Brancan sonorities); there's a feel of some of the passages form that seminal work but much deeper and, if you will, more romantic. I use the term not only in deference to the disc's title but also in that I was reminded throughout of the work of Bernard Herrmann. While at one glance, it's drone-oriented and steady state, there's always numerous plies writhing beneath the surface and when they venture toward full audibility, they have something of that wrenching, almost melodramatic quality heard in Herrmann. This occurs most noticeably around 24 minutes (and it's stunningly gorgeous) in and you think, perhaps, the first portion was only a prelude, that there would be a shift, but not really. It just settles into an adjacent seethe. Unlike Farmer's, it's "easy" on the ears but there's just as much to explore, just as many surprises; you simply have to tilt your head differently. The lengthy diminuendo also has more going on "inside" it than might be apparent at first blush, more unsettling than you think. Very, very enjoyable.
Please Stop Loving Me is downright astonishing and possibly the best drone record this year