The compilation consists of two CDs, and includes a second pair of CDs to “pass on to another curious listener.” Also includes 30 index cards: one for each of the CD tracks, containing biographical info on the musicians involved, and three with illustrations. Everything is packaged in a special paper box designed by richard chartier.

track: 8 windows (first version) 8’37”

full track listings can be found here.

after the lowercase community began to converse via a yahoo chat room, josh russell decided to put two stellar compilations together of so called, lowercase sound. here are his notes:

“lowercase sound, a term coined by steve roden in an interview last year is obliquely self-explanatory. this compilation represents artists from across the world who place committed listening at the top of the creative music process. it is in this moment of pure attention that one’s sense of self simultaneously disappears and swells to encompass the surroundings. by composing for this type of listening (good headphones at high volume recommended) these artists force the listener to pay focused attention to sound. after a couple of times through this set you may discover for yourself that compositions are all around you at every moment. the hum of the refrigerator. the refuse truck backing up in an alley. a plastic bag trapped in the fence, rustling… ‘the only thing that is not art is inattention’ said marcel duchamp. and now you too are paying attention. enjoy…”

you might also want to take a look at this pdf, which was written on the eve of the reissue of my disc ‘forms of paper’ which many folks consider to be a lowercase benchmark (whatever that may be…)

  • reviews:
  • Lowercase isn’t just a sound. It isn’t a label, and it isn’t a genre. Lowercase is a whole aesthetic. You can’t quantify or qualify just what it is to be “lowercase,” but you’ll know it when you hear it.

    This compilation was originally intended to be a small CD-R release exclusively for the members of the lowercase-sound discussion group. From these humble origins, the compilation grew to be a double CD release in gorgeous packaging. The two CDs are housed in a double gatefold box with design by Richard Chartier (who also has a track on the album.) There are 30 silver printed inserts, one for each musician and 3 featuring artwork by Richard Chartier, Josh Russell, and Steve Roden.

    But even better than the packaging is the music itself. One thing that is certain of “lowercase sound”: subtly is a much-valued characteristic. A casual listen to many of these tracks will leave the listener befuddled. “What’s that twittering in the background? Maybe the stereo is malfunctioning.” A more detailed listen will uncover a whole new audio world. I’ve sworn off the microscope metaphor, but it is far too easy to use here.

    If a record label comparison were applicable here, it would be Trente Oiseaux (whose boss, Bernhard Guenter is also on the album.) One draws an easy line from the nuance of the Trente Oiseaux roster to the track listing to this album. However, this compilation features many lesser-known artists, many of whom number the ranks of the lowercasesound list.

    I’ve had previous encounters with some of the artists here, but it is the lesser-known pieces that really strike me. Brekekekexkoaxkoax brings a bit of heavily processed guitar that reminds me of Jeremy Boyle’s recent Songs From the Guitar Solos . Michael Northam’s “Kalpa (an excerpt)” was created by using “small speakers emitting wire drones and incidental movements recorded in a mine shaft.” The track is as listenable as its concept is beguiling. Lt Caramel delivers what sounds like a processed field recording with voices and recognizable sounds creeping into the mix.

    Of course, the known artists have submitted tracks that are up to the high standard of music making that they normally are at. Taylor Deupree’s “Dopticn” is consistent with his other glitch-y work on his label, 12K. Kid606 seems to be heading in many directions lately; “done/start” is similar to his submission for the Clicks + Cuts compilation. Bernhard Guenter does what he does best, which is almost completely indescribable.

    This album comes packaged with another set of both CDs in a small paper that is designed to be passes on “to another curious listener.” The whole compilation is unbelievable in form, content, and execution.

    nirav soni
  • The last thing the world may need is another subgenre. What the world could use, though, is one or two solid compilations to define each of the various subgenres that currently occupy — or, more politely, to help adventurous listeners correlate — the ever-increasing number of electronic musicians worldwide. Lowercase (Bremsstrahlung Recordings) is one of the various names (along with “microsound,” among others) given to a realm of music that dances slowly on the precipice of the subsonic. This compilation, by a new San Diego-based label, contains 27 separate tracks by such lowercase leaders as Bernhard Gunter, Steve Roden and Taylor Dupree. Other popular names are notably absent (like Ryoji Ikeda, Oval and Tetsu Inoue), but what lowercase lacks in comprehensiveness it makes up for in other ways. First, it gives us a glimpse of tiny experiments by musicians, like kid606, who are better known for noise than for tenderness. Second, it provides a separate CD-size postcard with detailed biographical and discographical info on each of the 27 cuts’ musicians. Third, for the price of the box set’s two CDs, you get a second copy of the CDs — free. The second set’s envelope reads, “Please pass on to another curious listener,” but you won’t be blamed if you choose to hold on to both sets and mix ‘em up at home.

    marc weidenbaum, disquiet