Lichens is the solo project of the fascinating Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe. His first album The Psychic Nature Of Being from 2005 was seemingly a simply recording improvisation. Despite the fact I’d got it when it came out, it had lost out to whatever else I was listening around then. In early autumn this year, I spotted in on the shelf and what opened up on the first two tracks in particular had me annoyed I’d overlooked this album for such a ridiculously long time.
Build simply out of a blend of grainy vocalised drones, and gently interlocking guitar, the effect is a perfect example of minimal means achieving a hugely powerful all-consuming effect. In some ways the surface feels similar to Panda Bear and Scott Mou’s Jane project, but the even more minimal set up feels even more measured and effective.
The first track Kirilian Auras seems to nail the completely fresh approach, but the second track Shore Line Scoring amazingly repeats the process to even more dazzling results. Simply grainy loops and vocal smears slowly builds into a dizzying bed of sound. Literally a vast fluffy cloudscape of beauty. Then the Fahey like guitar figure that enter over 7 minutes is both a surprise and illuminates the whole piece into a beautifully animated strangeness.
The entire approach here feels so simple and stripped back. Proof, in the right hands, so much amazingness can be squeezed from so little. A sublime rediscovery.
The Psychic Nature Of Being is available here