Boomkat Product Review:
Proper intoxicated/intoxicating synth x percussive works from Rob Lowe of Lichens/Om - sounding somewhere between Nate Young, Rhythm & Sound, Grouper, AFX and Popol Vuh - so good.
Visionary neo-tantric synth minimalism and Afro-futurist rhythms from Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, making his solo debut outside of revered work as Lichens and a sometime member of Om. 'Timon Irnok Manta' marks the start of a compelling new trajectory for Lowe, one which promises to uproot drone music and give it new coordinates by seamlessly incorporating a wider palate of influence from dub and techno in a way which has, arguably, not been explored before, or to this extent. This first instance was based on fabled British sci-fi series 'The Tomorrow People' and takes form as two side-long compositions.
The A-side 'M'Bondo' connects his contemporary practice with more ancient rites, explicitly alluded to in the record's African print artwork and title; waves of mesmerising modular synth layer and accumulate a dark, wyrd energy with a free, unstable element precipitating infectious, purposeful pulses and rhythms - before we know it we're twitching to a plonging bass cadence (you don't dance to drone records we hear you say - you just might to this one) which builds and roils like Nate Young meets Frank Bretschneider while maintaining a cosmic poise all its own.
The spellbinding B-side 'M'Bondo (Version)' builds on this sound, adding layers of vocal - sounding some way between Grouper, AFX and Popol Vuh - to a mixing desk-carved dub rhythm more akin to one of Mark & Moritz's most depleted Rhythm & Sound versions than any of his peers, and eventually opening up to a quizzical synth spume a la KFW which recedes and flickers thru the skeletal structure like some micro organism on a jolly.