Monday 17 February 2014


LEAPING LIZARDS! How did I miss this? I mean, I'm sorry for saying "leaping lizards" – I don't think I've ever said it before and I'll be damned if I ever say it again. Sorry. But in all seriousness: how did I miss this? Rhetorical question, mind you; reckon there's a whole load of reasons why I missed it, the main one being I just wasn't vigilant enough. Gotta stay vigilant. If you want to hear nice sounds, gotta keep an ear to the ground. Not the ground but at least in the direction of music sources. SoundCloud for example. Not fucking Vice magazine, that's for sure.

Words words words that's all I'm saying wordy word-word word. And they mean pretty much nothing, too. However, let's break the cycle and say some meaningful words; not in the poignant, single-tear-tumbling-down-a-soft-cheek kind of meaningful, but meaningful as in the "has meaning" sense. So, I wrote about Lindsay Lowend's Wind Fish EP after I a) freaked out about the name of the EP, b) freaked out about the music of the EP, and c) freaked out with regards to both of these things. I'm a Zelda fan (sorry if u hate but haha on you u suk) so it was natural to check it out. The sound was like nothing I'd heard before so I just wrote like a madman until I was limp and dried up like washed up sea cucumber. And I waited for more stuff to appear and it didn't so I treasured the EP and listened to it a lot.

FLASH FORWARD to five minutes ago and I played Lindsay Lowend's latest 'Basement Dweller Overture' for literally a couple of seconds (I enjoyed it nonetheless), but I'm tired right now and want/need to go to bed/do something else. Flash forward to a full day later and I'm writing this again, but now in the safe wakefulness of daytime.

The song begins with this indomitable bounce led more by the bass than the beat itself, which forms a nicely styled backdrop to the whole thing, the drums themselves thick and meaty. Something about the synthwork in this song is clean as anything – there is no dust to be found – surgical precision leads the way, with vocal samples or at least what sound like vocal samples sliced and diced and spread skillfully around like a clean mosaic of a buffet. The drums leave wonderful offbeat trails, oozing the heft of dubstep. But halfway through, what the egg happens? A piano solo; virtuosic and rich, it detaches your ears from the previous playground of electronic noises in that nodding-head hip-hop style beat, bringing you into a world where the music speaks for itself, painting colours of wonder and imagination.

That's before you're thrown into a chunk of electro-funk, filled with buzzing and elephant trumpeting sounds in a glorious section of glitch-laden cut-up style, filling your ears until the inspirational few notes that play at the end. There's always something intensely satisfying when you listen to a Lindsay Lowend song – maybe it's just me, but he seems to be able to conjure the same magic as the best videogame soundtrack without having to rely on any visuals whatsoever. His music is defined by jazz sensibilities – breaking off at tangents, having no main theme, exuding a wholly improvisational talent. It seems as though, with this in mind, this is the music of nerds or geeks or let's just say "the marginalised" – especially with this particular title, like an anthem for hikikomori – but then there are elements that boast the swagger of hip hop, the popular glitchgasm of dubstep, or juke's quick-step addictiveness, which throws any listener off with regards to pegging this in any particular genre or indeed annexing it for the benefit of some appreciation group or another.

What this really is… well it's the sound of a generation. It mirrors years of drip-feeding on popular culture and overstimulation thanks to gaming and the internet, retaining a retro nostalgia that makes for a clash of pre- and post-internet mindsets quite evident in the frenetic and wildly imaginative tracks from Lindsay Lowend.

BTW The awesome 80s-themed, souped-up Earthbound-Zelda style artwork was done by German sibling duo, Low Bros.

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