Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Nick Hennies - Sympathy
I hope you remember Nick Hennies from his ode to his grandfather, Lineal, because that album was spot on beautiful. Apparently the dude is a drummer and his new disc on Full Spectrum is profoundly minimal ambient drum drone.
When I say minimal, I mean the first sound doesn't show up until about 20 seconds in. This is as sparse as it gets unless you're going the 4'33 route. Hennies has crafted an amazingly gorgeous drone record that is almost entirely ethereal. It's barely there and it never moves. And I'm pretty sure there's no processing either, meaning all of these sounds are coming straight from the drums. It's incredible.
The few sounds that do make up Lungs are found mostly on the two centerpiece tracks, "Lungs" and "Second Skin With Lungs," which are bookended by two short songs of exactly the same length & title that differ only slightly in content, "Sympathy." "Lungs" is made up of stretched out rubber bands of varying sizes vibrating at an insane rate, making a highly textured & tense drone, occasionally pulsing and throbbing with an industrial darkness. Then "Second Skin With Lungs" (super gross name, btw) comes along and you're not sure anything's even playing until a few minutes go by and an ominous doom rattle appears. It's 15 minutes of the sound of a silently massive black cloud hovering overhead as it waits to unleash a flood.
This is the anti-background music. The only way to listen to Lungs is with noise cancelling headphones in a coffin at the bottom of a mine. It's futile to try otherwise (as I sit writing & listening on this fucking train). Make sure when (not if) you pick this up, you give it your undivided attention. Otherwise you'll just be wasting your money.