Lowlands Flight

Minimal Compact

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Lowlands Flight Review

by Rolf Semprebon

As part of the Made for Measure series of records of soundtrack material, Lowlands Flight diverges from Minimal Compact's usual avant-garde rock songs. One side of the disc has music that accompanied a performance by Blue Ran Dances, while the other side contains background music for a Holland radio program, and as might be expected, most of these pieces are atmospheric and moody instrumentals. Not that some of Minimal Compact's more typical moves don't show up, from the bits of Middle Eastern melody that sift through on many of the tracks to the slow and clunky, but thunderous drum rhythms on "The Conference of Snakes," to the dark but elegant atmosphere that permeates the record. A few tracks like "Scums & Halfwits" have some distorted vocals, and several more pieces, especially on the second half, add in bits of spoken word. There is some nice piano work on several of the pieces, especially "Clock Bird" and "Waterfall." On "Clock Bird" the slow gloomy melody is carried on the low end of the keys while a pair of repetitive chords at the high-end act as rhythm, and on "Waterfall" the piece starts off with a bouncy guitar lick before more complex piano blossoms out of it. "Naked as You Came" is an even stranger piece, even in Minimal Compact's repertoire, as some crooning and Hawaiian guitar are thrown in for a haunting and beautiful piece of avant-lounge. A few of the other pieces don't really rise above their status as "background" music, but Lowlands Flight does offer a different take on Minimal Compact, and is one of the more dynamic records in the Made for Measure series.

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