Low

Double Negative

Sub Pop

Sep 11, 2018 Issue #64 -  Kamasi Washington Bookmark and Share


Find It At: AMAZON

Incredibly, 2018 marks Low's 25th year in existence. The Duluth, Minnesota trio have continued to steadfastly craft their niche and throughout remained a steady pair of hands to guide you through their traverses of dark and light alike. Their 12th full length, Double Negative, however, is perhaps their most inventive yet as they recruit Ones & Sixes producer B.J Burton (Sylvan Esso, James Blake, Bon Iver) once again to re-enforce the hints of skittish off-beats.

But where Ones & Sixes merely hinted, Double Negative goes fully blown through the looking glass, as if listening to a Low record through a vacuum in time and space. The opening triptych of "Quorum," "Dancing and Blood," and "Fly" takes a little while to get used to being such a disorientating experience in its first act. However, as the music progresses, or rather, subsides, into something palpable and conceivable, the second and third act develop into a hypnotic wonderworld, akin to Kid A-era Radiohead, with Mimi Parker's voice the only guiding light through the darkness.

As Double Negative advances, the album has a feel of a ambient/noise record in places, akin to the likes of Nicolas Jaar; "The Son, The Sun," for instance, has the sensation of actual fire with their hyper-modulated sound. There is still room for some classic Low in the record's later reaches, as the gloriously haunting "Dancing and Fire" displays, where the noise seeps away and we are treated to a largely reverb-soaked guitar-led track, though still within keeping of the overall extremely darkeven for Lowmood of the album. So while a somewhat disorientating experience, this is Low's most challenging and interesting record for sometime, even though they have always remained at the very least a consistently "good" band, but there is a genuine thrill in seeing a band so far into their career taking chances such as this. (www.chairkickers.com)

Author rating: 8.5/10

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