Achingly beautiful album fusing elements of everything from Earth to Windy & Carl, Stephen O'Malley, My Bloody Valentine, Fennesz, Keith Fullerton Whitman and Emeralds - miss out at your peril!!! Elm is the solo project of Jon Porras, one half of the deeply revered San Francisco drone lords, Barn Owl. Only his third release in solo mode, 'Nemcatacoa' has strong ties to his other project, but revolves around a lonelier and more personal agenda, with eight incredible tracks of widescreen Americana drone soul, stretching from the peripheries of Earth's maudlin blues-scapes to blissfully noisy and psychedelic ragas reminiscent of Pandit Pran Nath or Om. Recorded in the autumn to spring period of 2008-09, using both electric and acoustic guitar, harmonium, trumpet, recorder vocals, drum and cymbal, Porras weaves his magic with a deeply involved structure, divining that head-pressure spot between the folk drone of Windy & Carl or Six Organs of Admittance, and the overwhelming spatial dynamics of Stephen O'Malley. Tracks like 'Breath Of Midnight Still' are completely breathtaking, building a wall of sound worthy of MBV while still showing a sensitive astral awareness shared with the likes of Emeralds, or on 'Covered In Blankets And Moss' evolving his sheets of blissed guitar noise with a towering command worthy of Fennesz or Keith Fullerton Whitman. We can imagine that hearing these tracks played in the optimum acoustic setting could be a life changing experience. As a release on the sublime Digitalis Arts & Crafts label, you can expect the usual attention to detail with a matt black sleeve bearing silver etched artwork from Katie Boyle that make for an object of desire in themselves. Unlike some drone albums, the passion and arrangements here will warrant many, many repeat plays, it's just that sort of album. Incredible.