Drones can be touch and go. On the one hand, they need to be complex enough to cause the (alert) listener to retain attention and fascination. On the other, if there's too much complexity or activity, their status as "drones" becomes suspect. Jonathan Coleclough and Andrew Chalk are both drone-meisters of long standing and, in Sumac, a single-piece, 71-minute opus, they have constructed a deep, persistent drone that rewards close listening and encourages total absorption. Sound sources appear to include bowed cymbals (or other metals) and there's a strong sense of air passing slowly through brass, although electronic modification makes any such ascription problematic at best. Nothing much changes, no truly momentous events occur. Yet when, several minutes before its conclusion, there is a subtle intensification of sound, it has the effect of a revelation. For fans of true "dronecore," Sumac, with its dark, undulating waves, mysterious breathiness, and multiple layers, might be hard to beat. Recommended.
AllMusic Review by Brian Olewnick