ROBERT A.A. LOWE & ROSE LAZAR: Eclipses (Thrill Jockey)


Posted on Jan 29th 2010 12:31 am

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Robert A.A. Lowe & Rose Lazar: Eclipses

Thrill Jockey 2010
08 Tracks. 36mins41secs

Amazon US: LP | DLD Boomkat: LP iTunes: DLD

A former bassist with experimental outfit 90 Day Men, Robert A. A. Lowe turned his attention to his solo project, Lichens in 2004 and consequently released two albums on Kranky. In 2008, Lowe teamed up with Chicago-based graphic artist Rose Lazar for Gyromancy, a limited edition book, collecting the art of both Lowe and Lazar, and CD of Lowe’s music. The pair reconvene on Eclipses, a limited LP which once again comprises their collective graphic work and Lowe’s music.

Created as a support for the visuals, the music has very little to do with the treated folk and vocal experiments which define Lowe’s work as Lichens. Instead of acoustic guitars, he adopts here a resolutely electronic approach. Recorded entirely at home using old analogue synthesizers, Eclipses is firmly rooted in early Kosmische, its particularly stripped down tracks based on just a handful of recurring sounds and loops. The melodies are equally sparse, to the point of almost non-existence on Crayon Gym, with virtually no structure to hold them firmly together. There are heavy hints of early Kraftwerk or Cluster scattered all the way through, but even these could appear extremely elaborate in comparison with Lowe’s bare instrumentations. The only way for his to expand the scope of the music is to use repetition and delays to gain some element of depth. This is perfectly illustrated on Suno Vidis, on which a synth line is repeated almost instantly, slightly offset, in the background, until it appears almost independent, or on Tajdaj Ondoj. Later, on Ŭyndham-a Horloĝo, Lowe applies a much stronger cast of effects and finds himself stepping into early Tangerine Dream territory for a moment, but this is only a temporary foray onto richer grounds, as Turing Punkto and Tapiŝoj Lasis La Lumon En, which conclude, promptly return to much more exposed forms.

There is something naïve about the music on Eclipses, which perfectly echoes the child-like nature of the accompanying art, Giving this album a warmth which is not quite conveyed through the instruments and sounds used. While his source material is in essence rather cold and inert, the way Lowe uses it gives it all a much more human and emotional slant.


The Great Lakes (Rose Lazar) | Thrill Jockey
Amazon US: LP | DLD Boomkat: LP iTunes: DLD

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