Review: Not - "What Has Become of the One That I Love?"

(2015 Self-Released)

Rarely does an album encountered by chance while perusing new releases on Bandcamp connect with me so immediately. I came across Not's newest full-length effort while browsing under the "shoegaze" tag this morning and it has been on repeat as I browse Facebook and eat granola from a plastic Ninja Turtles container. The solo project of Sacramento-based guitarist Peter Eckles, Not weaves intricate tapestries composed of looped riffs and buttery reverb that send meditative pulses of aural warmth into the listener's ear like an oscillating space heater. Imagine a percussionless Explosions In the Sky that takes cues from Bon Iver and ambient projects like Reedbeds and My Own Retard.

What Has Become of the One That I Love? opens with "Little Ghost", a brief, haunting overture composed of gelatinous guitar feedback that does a good job of easing one into the album's pensive, dreamy state. Following it is my favorite of the eight improv sessions, "Gone", a minimal piece that pairs delicate pluckings with peals of howling slide guitar. It's wonderfully emotive for something so simple. "Spring" is another choice cut, fast paced and catchy compared to the rest of the album. It is rather densely composed of melodies that wrap around each other like tangly vines, an overgrowth of guitar noodlings. The release ends with a twenty minute opus, "On the Bank", rhythmically driven by a frantically played chord organ, reminding me of Daniel Johnston's early work. Layers of feedback squalls and speckled notes are added until the song melds into one abstract wall of sound, a gorgeous crescendo of oblivion to round out an inpressive release.