The Gloom and The Glowing by Nonnconnah

Release date: October 24, 2017
Label: Self-Released

Basing your music strictly on creating a certain atmosphere can be a very tricky business. When you try to give such an atmosphere certain shades, it becomes even trickier. And that seems to be exactly what the duo Nonconnah are trying to do on their initial release The Gloom and The Glowing. The key question is opened then – how did they manage?

First of all, Nonconnah is the reincarnation of Lost Trail, a previous ambient/drone outing of  Zachary and Denny Corsa. Not really a household name, even with ardent fans of ambient/drone music. Nonconnah itself is a name of a creek that runs in the vicinity of Memphis TN, where the husband & wife duo have relocated, and along with their collaborators for this album, flow seems to be the keyword. Music that has a certain flow.

And what a flow it is! Corsas start dropping the clues of their musical intentions from the get-go – the title of the album, its cover, the song titles (how’s ‘Our Secrets Kept Forever’?) all speak of that borderline where intrigue, excitement, joy, insecurity and fear all intermingle and cross into each other’s territory. In essence, it is music of creating an atmosphere that shifts in mood and in that respect akin to what bands like Stars of the Lid and Labradford did or in some ways, like the David Byrne and Brian Eno My Life In The Bush of Ghosts collaboration or, when it catches darker overtones, the nocturnal atmosphere created by Bohren Und Der Club of Gore.

Lofty goals, complex processes, but Nonconnah slip and slide through it practically unscathed. Not that they in any manner sound or try to imitate any of the above names, it is all in traces and broad ideas, coming closest in concept to the two Kranky label bands (Stars of the Lid and Labradford) but never overlapping or walking in same steps. The music is all shifting and moving, all the time somewhere, as that movie title goes, from dusk to dawn, and it certainly escapes one of the most usual pitfalls of ambient/drone music – getting into a rut and boring your audience to numbness. A tune would start, go somewhere else, come back, or not, and then possibly just simply fade away (‘Spirits Through The Veil’). It is hard to point out the most exceptional track since there are no weak ones, but one that could be named as the most exemplary comes somewhere midway through the album (‘Cassette Tones For Fall’), showing all that Nonconnah are about musically.

Maybe the Corsas will not attain a big status name for themselves, but they certainly deserve the attention of the ambient/drone fans. A name to watch.

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