low : double negative [sub pop]
by now, thanks to its instant and rightly recognised critical acclaim, everyone into just about any type of musical genre must surely have dipped their toes into this remarkable album? defying any category, shifting even further the band’s own large volume of evolutionary work, double negative is a triumph of artistic and studio expressionism. trademarked exquisite song structures here drenched in unique precision abstraction. but then, we shouldn’t be surprised... throughout low have challenged the very notion of recognised sounds within a commercial environment of alternative rock and pop. from quiet minimal songwriting beginnings, we’ve witnessed sparse triggering power of drums and guns, a full-frontal, naked do you know how to waltz? thirty minute live assault, 2015’s pristine multi-layered masterpiece ones and sixes and forward to the live theatrical birthing of this next studio work. over 25 years, everywhere and in-between very tender and bittersweet tones have bled into a glorious mesmeric soup of humanitarian goodness. pure of heart, living of life and spiritual in existence. and, just as is the band’s working schedule this new album is relentless. relentless in fragility. relentless of crafted, perceptive noise. relentless deliberate fragmentary beauty and relentless in its captivating totality. a bewitching juxtaposition of vibrant vocalised timbres, tonal composites and controlled machine harshness. slightly familiar heart-shaped boxes allowed to disintegrate, rearranged, re-aligned and relayed. strange irregular moulds patterned into a relentless narrative of vast cathedral performances. their flickering embers transfix, warmth exuding, leaving an overwhelming feel of serenity amongst chaos - a state we’d all like to achieve in these sorry times of global extremes. mimi and alan’s vocals are of course at the heart of it all, but bj burton’s production (and steve’s multi-disciplined genius, the sometimes overlooked third member of this duluth family) has lent a twisted expansiveness which hits heady, heavenly heights on the supremely magnetic, almost anti-choral poor sucker. although, it is far too simplistic to single out one track as the whole is double negative’s true fabric. this is a set of songs (in their chosen form) to listen to in entirety. sit at the back of an audience, leave all other thoughts and engage. again and again. and again, relentlessly. its immersive sway will detune and refocus. the faintest murmur attentions a new spark with every examination and hugs, tightly. a glorious love-held disorientation. this is assuredly music for the masses. it should shout to inhabitants of outer fields and popular aesthetes, electronic and guitar disciples. here lies drone music beyond drones. looping without repetition. art, as the world should be; without borders. a thrilling (un)easy relentlessness. double negative truly is the crackle of my soul.
available now on cd, vinyl, cass and dl