WILLIAM NOWIK Notes from the underground
Nowik's sound is directly influenced by the places he's lived and combines these ethnic slams with vocals that remind
of a cross between David Byrne and George Harrison. Some of the more experimental tracks boast a Tom
Waits-styled spoken word approach as well. This innovative work is certainly recommended.
Michelle Picardo (Freetime Magazine, New York)
No overnight sensation here - Mr. Nowik appears to have spent a lifetime seasoning himself toward artistry. In his
journey, he’s traveled the world, established himself as a journalist, studied philosophy, written a novel and become
something of an underground musical favorite in Southeast Asia. “Notes from the Underground,” continues down that
path, capturing the wizened tones, hushed delivery, no-nonsense humanist values and eclectic musical variety that
Bruce Cockburn brings to his work. In essence, William Nowik honestly has the all the makings of a core WYCE artist
- showing maturity, talent, a love for words and, bubbling just beneath the surface, a dark side.
Matt Jarrells (MD at WYCE in Grand Rapids, MI)
Have listened to your cd 2 or 3 times now and really like it. It is probably the best new stuff I have heard in 20
years. I loved the arrangements, struggled a little in understanding the lyrics, but by the 3rd song I realized that it
didn't matter because your voice was another instrument in the aggregate sound. It almost draws you in and makes
you listen harder. I think I really got it! It is a little moody though! Really liked "I Think I Know Why, I Don't Know
Why" and "I'm Suppose To Be Married". Really great arrangements and choices of instruments. Uniquely recorded.
Very different sound and great packaging!
Jeff Wheat (Camera Operator and Associate Director, Hollywood, CA)
Listened to the album the other day. Lots of interesting songs and I did like the production values. Overall rather
dark, some songs deep, some dark and deep. Definitely the same guy I used to know.
Geoff Hull (Chair, Recording Industry Management, MTSU)
If Brian Jones was still alive, this is the stuff I think he would be doing.
Sunny (Musician, Producer)
Eclectic is an overused word, but it certainly applies here. I came to listen to this album with no clue what to expect
having never heard anything by William Nowik previously. To be honest I'm still a little unsure. It's certainly
engaging, and after one hearing I listened to it again immediately. It's a mixed bag with more hits than misses, but
the hits really do hit.
'I Think I Know Why, I Don't Know Why' is the most immediate track here, and also the closest thing on the album to
an out and out 'Pop' song. With a riding beat carrying a stop-start guitar riff, it allows the vocal line to dominate the
tune. Similar in feel is 'Thinkin' To Myself'. The guitar fairly shimmers over skipping drums giving of an almost early
80's sound (I was strangely reminded of XTC!).
Elsewhere it all gets very experimental. Almost sparse. 'I'm Goin' Down' is fantastic, all driving tom beats and
layered, rolling riffs. It sounds almost relentless in its single mindedness. 'Dormez Vous' is wonderful. A gorgeous
instrumental dripping with overlapping strings which could almost be singing in the absence of actual vocals. I was
reminded of Freheley's 'Fractured Mirror'. 'Mojo Hoodoo' shouldn't work. An urgent, almost anxious opening segueing
into a vast collage of elongated, droning notes. Its melodies seem almost like accidents, the intricacy of the music
complementing simple, tugging vocals. The cover of Dylan's 'Mr.Tambourine Man' is stripped bare, lain wide open
and reinvented. Where Dylan gave us the song and The Byrds Gave us a jaunty pop ditty, Nowik almost makes it
creep up the walls. It's fantastic. It's not pretty, but I suppose given the subject matter it really shouldn't be.
One or two tracks do seem to meander a little. Although I believe that to be the fault of the production rather than
the actual music. In a live situation they will work. In fact I believe that that might be the best way to experience all
of these songs. Sat at home listening to a CD your mind can be diverted. Getting the most out of a live performance
demands your full attention. And these songs, and this album definitely deserve that.
Chris Arnold (Indreams Network, www.indreamsrecords.com)