Dusted Reviews

Lichens - The Psychic Nature of Being

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Lichens

Album: The Psychic Nature of Being

Label: Kranky

Review date: Oct. 3, 2005

Lichens is Robert Lowe, bassist for 90 Day Men and an occasional touring member of TV On The Radio. Nothing in that resume prepares one for the singularity of The Psychic Nature of Being. Lowe has taken two common currencies of the current underground - processed wordless vocals and American Primitive-style, finger-picked guitar. This record is proof that a good idea, well executed, trumps limited means.

Its three pieces share a fundamental process. Lowe uses just one effect, a digital delay, to loop, layer, and degrade his voice into grainy, wheeling masses that churn like storm clouds around an invisible, inaudible eye. It's almost a shock when an uncorrupted vocal unfurls over the loops on "Shoreline Scoring," as though you were watching a documentary about shamans on some public TV channel that you can barely pick up, and then suddenly the holy man stepped through the screen to bless your empty bowl of ice cream. At some point during each track he picks up a guitar – sometimes run through a reverberant amp, other times cleanly mic’ed – and plucks a rustic air.

He achieves an aura of Popol Vuh-like cosmic drift that is perfectly suited for those moments when you want to lay on the couch in a darkened room and savor the dizziness. How you make yourself dizzy is up to you; this correspondent obtained good results with Scotch whiskey.

By Bill Meyer

Other Reviews of Lichens


Read More

View all articles by Bill Meyer

Find out more about Kranky

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.