As with many of our favourite improvisational and experimental artists, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe – more often credited as Robert Lowe and arguably better known for his work under the name Lichens – has evolved his art for decades across multiple disciplines. In recent years he’s been turning heads in the film medium, mostly as an accomplished multi-instrumentalist composer but also as an actor and filmmaker in his own right. Since 2009 he’s also been a part of ‘experimental doom band’ Om, which may sound like an anomaly until you realise that his first releases were on Southern Lord with rockers 90 Day Men.
Despite the cult-like following the band experiences, Lowe’s most loved offerings, however, remain the solo live improvisations of Lichens, marrying voice and modular experimentation in to minimal sonic expeditions that are even more impressive live than in the studio.
Where Lichens thrive in it’s spontaneity and unexpectedness, Two Orb Reel – while drawn from a similar pool in terms Lowe’s skills with synths and pulsing modulation explorations – benefits from a distinct vision and focus. Somehow this has also ended in his most diverse work to date as well.
The concept at it’s core is the soundtrack to an African science-fiction film, built upon the ideas of sound cues and library music that collectors would dig for in retro futuristic environment decades after the movie in his mind was made. The tracks stay faithful to the concept, building layer upon layer of modular rhythms in each one, sometimes deconstructing the same way, and altogether creating a scene by scene journey across the 14 tracks.
If you’re not one for the experimental touch points mentioned above don’t be turned off giving this listen. Two Orb Reel is truly built for OST fans including the harshest critics of John Carpenter and Wendy Carlos (sorry for the cliches) will find joy in it.
Stocked at the usuals as of last month but moving quick and limited to 500 copies on LP in a slick looking gate fold so get on it quick. A few tracks below, press release underneath that with a link to buy straight from the label.
via More Than Human
More Than Human is very proud to present a new full-length work by modular synth experimenter Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe. Lowe has made some of the most transcendent music of recent times (‘cerebral music in the best sense of the word’ – Music & Literature) with acclaimed releases on DDS, Type and RVNG.
‘Two Orb Reel’ revolves around the concept of a soundtrack for African science-fiction; each of the song titles come from science fiction works set in Africa. The music takes the form of library tracks and soundtrack cues.
The music conjures weird landscapes. Oscillating pulses suggest alien communication. Themes of eeriness and entropy come to the listener filtered through evocative modular throbs, deep bass textures and off-kilter meters.
‘Two Orb Reel’ is an alien trek of a record, soundtracking emotions of wonder, fear and transcendence.
Housed in a full-colour gatefold sleeve and comes with an insert of art by Robert Lowe.