Boomkat Product Review:
Rob Lowe, bassist and vocalist for the 90 Day Men, ex-TV On the Radio collaborator and general good sport is something of a spiritual soul. Of course, I don't actually know the feller, but after listening to 'Omns' there's no doubt in my mind that he is on a different universal plane than the rest of us. There are some records you listen to which make you think that they're made in a bubble, out of time if you will, and "Omns" is one of them. The key is likely in the simplicity, the music of Lichens is unfussy and desperately uncomplicated, maybe it's just a voice or a plucked bass guitar but that's all you need, and the space created by this is hypnotic. A good reference point would probably be Akira Rabelais' absolutely stunning album 'Spellewauerynsherde', an album which had a similarly ghostly treatment of vocals. However where Rabelais used samples Lowe uses his own voice and engages with the music on a simply devastating spiritual level. Curl upon curl of wordless murmurs erupt like fountains of blue smoke and are accompanied by ethereal string plucks and waterlogged gurgles. This is music to accompany you to the other side - get rid of your spirit guide, with Lowe's hums and whispers you should have no trouble crossing over, it grabs hold of you and lets you think - this is the power of measured simplicity. Also included in the package is a DVD of a live performance, showing you Lowe's absolute engagement with the music as he falls into a near-trance of improvisation. Fans of the Nonesuch Explorer series of World Music releases or more recently Grouper simply need to check this out without delay. Breathtaking.