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Lowercase Noises - Ambient Songs CD (album) cover


Lowercase Noises


Post Rock/Math rock

3.09 | 3 ratings

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3 stars Adrift....

Lowercase Noises is the working vehicle of multi-instrumentalist Andrew Othling, based in New Mexico USA. Andrew is here at PA under the post-rock genre but his work shifts from post-rock to ambient/drone/minimalist to instrumental music. He's an enormously talented fellow and this was his second full length album after the beautiful debut "Seafront."

Othling has grown and blossomed as a musician/composer over the past four years and has stated that he is beginning to view himself more as a composer than a guitarist. While this is exciting news based on the success of his most recent and acclaimed album "This is for our Sins", it is also a bit disappointing to me in a selfish sense. Because Othling is a superb guitarist and there is that side of me that just wants him to forever paint away over his pedals and guitar, improvising and creating the landscapes that first drew me in. But alas, he has moved on to bigger and better things and the new album was fantastic.

"When I started playing guitar, I wanted to be a blues player. At some point I just got tired of so many notes. I became happier with fewer notes. And so it went. Every now and again I get into a conversation where people seem to be trying to convince me to play more like I used to. And I always have a hard time explaining that yes, I do still enjoy playing like that to a degree, but my heart is in those slow, heartfelt melodies and those parts that you wouldn't know how much they added until they weren't there. Ambient music runs a high likelihood of being incredibly boring. A lot of artists seem to run with the slow, repetitive melody a little too far. Yes, it is relatively easy to write a melody like that. The hard part is developing it into something that evolves, gets interesting, and somehow stays simple at the same time. Subtlety is the key really, and subtlety in music is something that's really hard to achieve." -an excerpt from Andrew's blog

"Ambient Songs" remains perhaps the deepest treasure chest for the Lowercase fans who appreciate most the ambient guitarist inside of Othling. This is the goods. Approximately 145 minutes of instrumental guitar music recorded in one take, no edits, no overdubs, nothing but guitar and effects. Wave upon wave of rolling moods and emotions wash over you, slowly, softly, with no distraction. No vocals or other instruments. This is music to pull the shades for, music to relax to, or perhaps music to take on a long walk with your earbuds. Andrew's thoughtful playing is as always to this listener, very moving, a catalyst for my own emotions and thoughts to swirl in as I ponder and let them go. Individual notes and patterns repeat with slight variation as Eno might do on piano, the background shaded with numerous interesting guitar effects. As Othling alludes to in the quote above, evolution is the important component in this kind of music. It's a clear strength of his that he is able to keep things consistently interesting to me, someone who is not a particularly huge fan of this genre. That said, this may not be the best starting point in the Lowercase discog for most people. If you love long, slow, ambient tracks, then yes. But if you want to start with something a bit more active and conventional in terms of album structure, try his latest "This is for our Sins."

I don't believe this album is available on physical formats like some of his others, but you can get a high quality download from his website. Over two hours of pure blissful drift for those who enjoy this solitaire kind of instrumental music.

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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