Lowering by Cal Lyall & Tim Olive

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Cal Lyall & Tim Olive | Lowering
845 Audio (CD/DL)

Just arriving from Japan is the collab between Tim Olive and Cal Lyall. The disc consists of a singular twenty-seven minute unstructured diversion to grind your morning (or whatever time suits your wake-up call). A stirring, yet somewhat atypical industrial abstraction, that sounds as if portions were submerged under water while recorded. The cover art (illustration by Jamie Lee Reed) infers some sort of seismic disturbance, monitoring or activity, and the tectonic nature of plates shifting, perhaps an underground documentary about fracking (?) becomes good commentary for such noise distraction. There seems to be a calculated effort underway to mine something.

In fact the duo has brought about this sensation of going below the surface, it’s wrought with all sorts of textures, whining, grinding away. More exploratory than a typical disingenuous noise assault, they instead tinker and excavate in a methodical manner. There are lots of layers being unearthed, like counting the endless thin layers in a fine French puff pastry. I’ve had a few opportunities to witness a jeweler working on fine gemstones, and this is the closest to the sense of intimacy with the material I’ve sensed since. It cuts deep, taking gradual steps, while doing so it drills into your subconscious.

Lyall & Olive have developed a sound that chips away at the balance between breathy drone, feedback and organic textures with such quizzical methods.

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