Recording during quarantine, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe continues to channel sounds emanating deep within the earth. Mishaps In Time switches between caustic synthetic spirituals to angular rhythmic shards and concrete expositions with ease. Lowe’s music is patient, always moving at just the right speed so that his ideas permeate long enough to leave a mark, but never static. When it comes to experimental electronic and synth music, he’s one of the most important artists around.
On the sprawling title track, you find yourself slowly digging through subterranean caverns. Underlying buzzing drones lay the groundwork for a slow moving cascade of drips and clicks. Tonal peaks rise through this electric murk, obscured by circuits of silver clouds until a subtle pulsing rhythm peaks out, no longer hidden. Each new aural pop is a careful step through a minefield. The middle section is filled with so much tension that it’s tangible, eventually dissolving into paranoid strings lilting in air. “Mishaps in Time” is a powerful piece of music that left me breathless.
Excitingly reminiscent of Lowe’s seminal Timon Irnok Manta, the three-part “Misshapen Measures” flits between a lighter counterpoint to the title track. Repeating synth patterns feel almost bouncy, forming raga-like circuitry that bends its way into strange, cathartic shapes. In the middle section it’s easy to zone out as the rhythm moves along constantly pelted by modular whirrs and electronic debris. On a mission, each shard is an attempted distraction, but these looping patterns are so hypnotic that you are lulled into deep trance-like focus. Battles between mournful angels and howling demons bring it to a close, the ending we all deserve.
Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe is one of those rare artists that I will immediately, without hesitation, pick up anything he puts out. His work is at such a consistently high standard and his ideas so unique, there’s always a new world to discover in his music. Mishaps In Time is a worthy new chapter.