Review: Low Textures – untitled (Lo-music, Jul 15)

This (I think?) debut release from Low Textures is equally likely to put you in a deep trance as it is to give you a splitting headache. But if such a risk were at all concerning to you, you wouldn’t be on this site, so don’t come crying to me when your brain starts dripping out your nostrils. A great way to go out anyway, if you ask me; if there’s a bottom of music, this is damn near close to it, and then you can tell everyone else in hell all about your exploits. Not dissimilar in spirit or in textural palette to the previously NNM-reviewed Stunad and Emergency in Six Movements, these two lengthy tracks take such radical sonic minimalism even further by significantly restricting the amount of information in the actual audio files, to an extreme 56kbps (the full hour-and-a-half release takes up less than 40mb). In this regard the album fits right it on Lo-music, a netlabel with an imposed bitrate cap of the same number—other artists have put out recordings at as low as 3kbps—but here they’ve contributed the most effective exploration I’ve heard yet of the possibilities (or lack thereof) when working with this constraint. Both halves deal heavily in teeth-rattling low-end, especially 1 with its persistent bass frequency that transforms the surrounding strands of static into edges that cut into its sluggish thickness, and then wall heads will immediately feel at home once the glacial crackle-drone of 2 kicks in. What could easily be dismissed as a gimmick is proven to be anything but; I’m definitely keeping an eye and a structurally destabilized ear out for more bedrock-trawling “music” from Low Textures. For fans of Sachiko’s “Don’t Stop”, floppy disks, and ungrounded receivers.