Thursday, November 27, 2014

Not Knowing & 4.30.2014 by Nicholas Szczepanik

Pulsing brooding drone
gets inside your body and
takes over your brain.

One of the better aspects of social media is the direct interaction of musicians and fans. Back in the day, performers were virtually untouchable - you bought their albums, listened to them on the radio, and saw them perform live. Maybe you joined their fan club and obtained a little bit of "insider" status and the truly lucky won backstage passes in a contest and could actually speak to them.

Now musicians are just a post, like, follow, or tweet away.

One of those musicians is Nicholas Szczepanik. I was introduced to his work by a friend (Thanks, wajobu!) with the album Please Stop Loving Me (my comments). That's when I started following Nicholas on Twitter. One day he tweeted that he had a few extra CDs of a live performance 4.30.2014 from earlier this year in case anyone wanted to buy one. Hell yeah. A few tweets later he added a CD of his studio album Not Knowing to my order.

Normally that'd be the end of the story. But our friends at the U.S. Postal Service turned this into a tale of perseverance. The first shipment arrived with a chunk bitten out of both one corner of the envelope and the jewel case for 4.30.2014. Not Knowing was simply Not Found. Nicholas kindly resent Not Knowing. (The CD for 4.30.2014 was undamaged and I told him I'd keep it because the gnarly jewel case made for a good story.) That second shipment simply disappeared into the snail mail ether. Gone without a trace. Not Extant. Again, Nicholas resent the CD for Not Knowing which, thankfully, arrived unscathed. I felt bad about the extra postal expenses and the loss of one of his CDs. But I really appreciate the effort he put in to getting his music to me. Thank you, Nicholas.

Back to the music. Not Knowing is 52 minutes of brooding and pulsing low tones through which a crystalline high tone weaves and builds like a fleeting idea through one's resting body. Must be played a high volume to be fully appreciated. The live performance 4.30.2014 consists of 5 tracks, one by Nicholas, three by Coppice ( and one by Mykel Boyd ( Speaking only of Nicholas' track, it's an open, church-like drone with a sense of place.

You can find Nicholas online here:

Thank you, U.S.P.S.
I received no compensation of any kind for this review.

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