Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Nick Hennies - Lineal (Sentient Recognition Archive, 2010)


Nick Hennies - Untitled 1








Nick Hennies' grandfather, Charles Nichols, would randomly recite poems and Nick's aunt insisted he record some of them, which he did, and eventually forgot about. Fast forward a few years, Nick found the tape and was enthralled, motivated to create something inspired by his late grandfather. Lineal "is not a memorial to Charles Nichols; it is an homage to memory."

Lineal starts out with a 9 minute track of some beautifully minimal wine glass tapping and rubbing sounds, soft high end drone with non-invasive clicks and dings. Glitchy in a smooth and relaxing way, the sounds of sunlight dancing on water.

While the opening track is super gorgeous, it's the second track that's the focus here, running for almost a half hour. It starts with Mr. Nichols, in his weathered and resonant voice, reciting "The Day Is Done" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. We're told the poem is complete with a wine glass ding, like Reading Rainbow gone Masterpiece Theatre. The drones that follow are much less heavenly as before, instead sounding like a frosted winter wind, howling through power lines and open fields. The squeaking of blades being sharpened are heard in the distance and the storm is on its way.

Another wine glass rings, signaling an abrupt shift in mood. Birds chattering, trickling water, insects scarfing leaves, and a faint twinkling guitar precede "What I Said And What Christ Said" by George MacDonald. The sweet ambience lingers for a while once the poem is over, until it shifts gears again into something more sublime, more organ like, as if we just listened to nature and Nichols conjuring Belong, only what appears is merely the spirit of Belong, a bare bones version. Blissful, but 10 times more minimal, just a half dozen layers of tinny drone, waiting for Nichols to jump into "Home" by Edgard A Guest.

The last 5 minutes are spent slipping back into the wine glass drone on the first track, ending bizarrely with an old fashioned party song and one final wine glass ding.

Is Lineal your average drone record? Fuck no. And that's precisely why it's so awesome. Do yourself a favor and check this one out.

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