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The Psychic Nature of Being

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Reseña de álbum

It's not often that you hear something that actually sounds new and different, but Robert Lowe's Lichens project does just that. Using his voice and a delay, he sets up elaborate soundscapes (similar to Frippertronics), then plays acoustic guitar on top that evokes outsider folkies like John Fahey and Robbie Basho. Neither approach is new, but in combination the effect is startling. "Vocals" or "voice" is a bit of a misnomer here: no words are uttered; the voice is simply a tone-generating device used to set up a series of drones that interact microtonally, creating additional dissonances and sounds. The pieces unfold slowly, allowing the loops to set a mood until the guitar enters. However, the loops are much more than a mere backdrop for the guitar; they're at least as integral to the overall sound and perhaps more so. These are one-take, no-overdub improvisations, but the elegant guitar playing is anything but noodling. There are melodies and recurring motifs that sound much more like compositions than improvisations. Lowe also brings surprising variety to the formula, utilizing melodic vocal fragments (as opposed to straight drones) in the soundscape on "Shoreline Scoring" and shifting gears a bit on "You Are Excrement, You Can Turn Yourself into Gold" by adding a bit of delay to the guitar for the final movement while the vocals fade out. The Psychic Nature of Being is an odd combination of moody and relaxing, but is ultimately a very rewarding listen.


Género: Alternativa

Años de actividad: '00s

Lichens was the solo improv project of Chicago composer Robert Lowe, previously known as the bassist with art rock combo 90 Day Men. A product of the Kansas City area, Lowe signed on with 90 Day Men in 1996, just prior to their relocation from St. Louis to Chicago; when the group went on hiatus following a European tour supporting its 2004 disc Panda Park, Lowe channeled his energies into his long-simmering solo pursuits, appearing as Lichens at that summer's Arthur magazine-sponsored Million Tongues...
Biografía completa
The Psychic Nature of Being, Lichens
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