Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe | Bond Chapel, University of Chicago | Experimental | Chicago Reader

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe Recommended Free All Ages Soundboard Image

When: Fri., Nov. 4, 8 p.m. 2016

The records former Chicagoan Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe has dropped this year chronicle a subtle, fascinating shift in his work. For a while now Lowe has developed and honed a hypnotic practice built around gorgeous, aqueous vocal chants and spell-casting, texturally varied modular synthesizer excursions. Cognition/Observation, for example, a recent single released on Demdike Stare’s DDS imprint, summons the minimalist spirit of vintage Basic Channel with twitchy, throbbing beats scuffed by stingy clicking analog bleeps as floor-rumbling globules dance across the sound field like beads of mercury; I would never have guessed it was made by Lowe, but the trance-inducing qualities are certainly of a piece with his previous work. Thought Withdrawal, a limited-edition record released by Oakland art space Land and Sea, is also mesmerizing, but in an entirely different fashion. Here a chilly electronic pitch flanges slowly over what sounds like funereal cello drones on one side, while more disjointed, floating stringlike electronic tones—and, toward the end, his own disembodied, ethereal voice—bounce around the ether on the flip. Considering these recent excursions, I’m excited about what Lowe will come up with on this visit. He performs in conjunction with the Renaissance Society exhibition “Urth,” which features the work of British filmmaker and artist Ben Rivers, his sometime collaborator.

Peter Margasak

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