Oct 2012 23

L ö W - Nosce Te IpsumL ö W
Category: Ambient / Experimental
Album: Nosce Te Ipsum (Single)
Stars: 3
Blurb: L ö W creates a phantom world of timbres that are caught between dream and sleep. Each remix presents a different segment of the somniferous haze.


“Know thyself” is the English translation of L ö W’s EP, Nosce Te Ipsum. Jabin Cureces (aka LoWPh.), who leads the Montreal based project, clearly exhibits that he, as the title of the single states, knows himself, but doesn’t fully transcend his awareness in his music.

The original track is well mixed and full of spectral, ambient noises. Despite that, several of the sounds (footsteps, a pencil scratching on paper, early morning’s ambience) are pleasant and have soporific attributes, yet the way in which they combine does not convey a clear enough message or story for listeners to comprehend. It’s as if a person took a trip into Curesces’s mind without a tour guide to explain the obscure and hazy components of his thought processes. The weakest factor of the song, aside from the previously stated turbid areas, is the amorphous drum sampling that rattles through the piece. It takes away from the placid whirring of vocals that are reminiscent of a chanting monk swirling down a drain and running water that chases the aural lulling down the pipes. The piece would be more enjoyable if the drums were taken down a level in the studio as they distract from the tone of the piece.

Lucidstatic’s remix increases the degree of distortion by removing the majority of the vocals and other environmental drones. The base tune remains, and the Alaskan musician melts the piece down to its most basic elements, then contorts it by giving it more of an industrialized, warehouse dynamic. It’s like highly abstract glass blown pieces, which are constituted as art but are often misinterpreted for lack a focal point. Lucidstatic’s mix is much more aggressive than the original version of “Nosce Te Ipsum,” and like some free-blown pieces, gives a more dramatic impression on an audience. This variation of the song is so jarring that it could nearly be used for a Halloween stage show, complete with an abstract crystal installation. The most narrative and softest version of “Nosce Te Ipsum” is r.roo’s remix. All of the elemental resonance shifts to the beginning of the song, and is blended with other utterances (the word “rusty,” is repeated often). It practically chronicles a person waking up in the middle of the night and going for a drive into the woods just to think; the most coherent form of storytelling on the EP. The Dyskhord remix is just as it seems: a discord. It includes bizarre sound effects such as cats screeching and quotes from the show Sealab 2021: “It’s like a koala bear crapped a rainbow in my brain!” It displays a horror funhouse and one that this reviewer would not like to visit. It’s the most disturbing track on the album – it’s highly creepy. While the song is very overwhelming, it takes an interesting turn a little over three minutes in; it incorporates hip-hop beats, jazzy whistling, and the quote, “We can have a dialogue, we can have a conversation in the language of music.” The final quote is a bit soothing, but does not eliminate the track’s nightmarish cacophony.

Nosce Te Ipsum is an uncharted journey into L ö W’s subconscious, where one visits some beautiful landmarks and dangerous forests. After the first track ends, it’s as if one travels into the darker, feral underbelly of his brain, and none of the roads have markings. While legend states that there is a pretty waterfall a person could find, he or she doesn’t have enough supplies to avoid any savage beasts that could cross his or her path. The only person who can safely avoid the mongrels is L ö W himself. There are some lovely aspects to most of the songs (particularly the original version and r.roo’s mix), but several are disturbing or lack articulation.
Track list:

  1. Nosce Te Ipsum
  2. Nosce Te Ipsum (Remix by Lucidstatic)
  3. Nosce Te Ipsum (Remix by r.roo)
  4. Nosce Te Ipsum (Remix by Blutspan)
  5. Nosce Te Ipsum (Remix by Dyskhord)

L ö W Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LoWaudio
L ö W SoundCloud http://soundcloud.com/lowmusic
L ö W Bandcamp http://lowsounds.bandcamp.com
CRL Studios Website http://crlstudio.com
CRL Studios MySpace http://www.myspace.com/crlstudios
CRL Studios Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/CRL-Studios/120456934637781
CRL Studios Bandcamp http://crlstudios.bandcamp.com
Claire Caldwell (DisarmAndCharm)

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