deadhead words... low 090918

low : the exit papers  [temporary residence]

on the eve, or just a few sleeps more from the much-anticipated release of low's new studio work double negative which has been garnering widespread praise for its highly experimental edge i thought a revisiting of this imagined soundtrack ep from 2000 might further enlighten on the band's progressive approach to differing musical styles within their own framework of sound. whilst the duluthian's have been locked inside the slowcore since their quarter-century inception by most of the media they have expressed, throughout countless albums, an endless fuel of oppositional artisans and genres. all consumed, engaged with, processed and reconfigured, honed into varying moods of perfectly exquisite rendering. as someone who deliberately avoids the whole streaming pre-amble (interaction with a completely new album on its release date still provides an air of excitement and is part of the joy and thrill of starting a life's journey with another phase of an artist's work) i've only heard/seen the phenomenal 'triptych' from double negative which pushes the trio into a new stylised breed of experimentalism, seemingly birthed at their organ reframed live events in london and amsterdam with claire singer. needless to say since those gargantuan, theatrical performances in october 2017 (time spent in the union chapel shall remain fully etched in my minds' wide-eyed-wonder forever) the sound has reached teenage years and unleashed explosive creative tantrums! but, the soul of now can be found buried deep in the exit papers. minimal in extremis, these six untitled pieces emit the illuminative sparks of what might lead to a 'standard' composition, left bare in order to embrace visionary fields. these are almost entirely instrumental, sensual soundtracks without film. plucked strings, resonant, tonal and studio embellished ambience drifts. the soar of mimi's call invites on the opener and she also offers loose percussive moments later which briefly untightens the whole's intensive grip. it's truest darkest, primitive moment is the hesitant untitled 4, which could easily share a space within the elusive connectivity of a stationary eraserhead mind. delay, reverb and controlled feedback are utilised to haunting effect and the hiss of magnetic tape entwined within a poised needle-like uneasiness. to understand the tangled, fertile roots of low i'd suggest purchasing this 2016 reissue and alan's solo guitar album, the latter of which firmly cements sparhawk as one of the greatest guitar exponents of our time. he shares that stage with robert hampson of loop/main, operatives of strings as an alternative to electronic composition. both the exit papers and solo guitar seed rare threads in uncommon process and whilst moving forward electronics are realised within their work (wo)man is clearly dominant over machines. for sure, low are a rock band like no other. file everything they create under unrivalled.

available now on vinyl and dl

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Travels in Constants (Vol. 9): The Exit Papers (2000) A Soundtrack by Low