Review: Every Hidden Color – Luz
Label: Streamline #1033 12” Vinyl LP (no digital download) – Tracks: I – 17: 04 & II – 18:00
Album available from NSZCZ: http://www.nszcz.com/a-few-copies-of-luz-are-for-sale/
Nicholas Szczepanik http://www.nszcz.com/ http://soundcloud.com/nszcz
Federico Durand http://www.federicodurand.blogspot.com/ http://soundcloud.com/federicodurand
More information on album and available at http://www.dragcity.com/artists/every-hidden-color
Every Hidden Color is a collaboration of two hemispheres and opposing seasons: Nicholas Szczepanik in North America (Chicago) and Federico Durand in South America (Buenos Aires). The work of these two artists to date is, to my ears, quite different, and the results in Luz are intriguingly harmonious.
Szczepanik’s work tends to be more serious and deliberate, and at times quite dense with broad masses of sound. Of his most recent work, my strongest connection, is to his album Please Stop Loving Me, which is indescribably beautiful and yearning in its meshing of sound and emotion. I am less familiar with Federico Durand’s work, but I have heard portions of his albums La Siesta del Ciprés (The Nap of the Cypress on the Spekk label) and the more recent (and bad luck for me it’s sold out!) album El Extasis de las Flores Pequeñas (The Ecstasy of Small Flowers on the Own Records label). Durand’s work tends more towards the introspective and ethereal, deftly woven with field recordings.
The pulsing of cicadas, crickets and a streetscape is how Luz opens before drifting into gentle winds (or is it the noise of a distant highway…or does it really matter?) and then a rhythmically swaying melody appearing like a soothing mantra, to then disappear into a sparsely layered and introspective suspension of reality. From there, come gentle rains, soft guitars, birds in the nearby trees, and then all drifts into the softest of walls of sound and finally gentle voices.
This is an album of contemplation and a sensitive appreciation of the world around us, from the smallest sound to the broadest landscape, and also to the light—Luz.