Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe - Thought Withdrawal LP
Label: Land & Sea
A transcendent splendor radiates through all of the sounds broadcast by Robert AA Lowe. Beginning with the harmonic vocal incantations found as Lichens in the early aughts, Lowe has constructed beautifully rendered tapestries of overlapping tones, phased loops and ecstatic minimalism. Both in album and in performance, his pieces are mostly spontaneously assembled into hypnotic dronings and undulating currents, evoking an earthen spiritualism that feels far more earnest than the archetypal New Age psychonaut. In recent years, Lowe has been bolstering his sound with a modular synth array that has become something akin to his own personal philosopher's stone - an alchemical device to transform raw electricity into sympathetic chorales to his own hallowed voice. Thought Withdrawal documents a live presentation of Lowe's work, commissioned by one of our favorite alternative spaces, Land And Sea run by Oakland artist Chris Duncan. The steady swoosh of a slow-motion LFO guides the first half of Lowe's performance through which he tangles a drowsy leitmotif of cello-like melodies that seem to be struggling to wake up and wanting to quicken in the pace. Lowe dials in a quintessential zoned-out, cosmic vibe of a really mellow JD Emmanuel, which gives way to a generative sequence of muted rhythm box patter all soaked in reverb. As Lowe introduces voice to this water drip scaffolding, a dream-time architecture of cubist cathedrals aglow with crimson / pink neon is fully realized through sound. So lovely.