An overwhelming experience, a journey into contemporary despair, an electro-shock in slow motion. This is what you can expect approaching Double Negative, the new release from American band Low (out via Sub Pop). What happens when there is a negative response to a negative situation? Is it possible to have a positive final effect, in the end? This question inspires the band that expanded slowcore worldwide starting in 1993 from Duluth, Minnesota. Alan Sparhawk (voice, guitar), Mimi Parker (voice, drums) and Steve Garrington (bass guitar) always kept an experimental attitude through the different episodes of their discography, from the tipycal slowcore albums (the first, I could Live In Hope) to the mutations in albums like Drums and Guns (2007) and One and Sixies (2015) in which the electronic fascination prevails.
In Double Negative, however, the experimental attitude arrives to the extreme consequences, in the different levels of meaning and sound. We are living a very negative period, in which is very difficult to have hope for any future, and it is easy to develop negativity in front of it. Is there hope anymore? Is there something to save ourselves in this poor contemporary world? The lyrics offer only little glimmers, focusing on the discouragement in which we are into.
From the sound point of view Double Negative is a hard experience, very fascinating if you are musically courageous. The band worked with the young producer BJ Burton to obtain the most essential and dark sound they could, and he gave the album an electronic structure based on noise, glitch, deep atmospheres.
If you survive to the fuzz clouds of “Quorum”, pass through the melancholic slowness of “Always trying to work it out” and the “dubstep” depth of songs like “Poor Sucker”, you will get to the final “Disarray” and its message: we have to go on because somewhere, maybe, there is a little hope.
A powerful album, an unbelievable experience, the best music in 2018 so far.