As you enter the infamous chasms of the House Of Leaves home, you find an immense, hypnotic peace instead of the chilling, creeping self-destruction that others who traverse its black catacombs undoubtedly unravel into.
AIM LOW is a band from Montreal that love to dabble in the dark arts of shoegaze, drone and experimentalism. Basically taking the guitar & all the gear that comes with it and making it all sound like the choirs of the damned, the horns from the heavens, or the wails of a forbidden technology that mankind should not dare tap into. It’s all quite cosmic sounding, despite being made by human hands. But let’s not let the human side distract you, unless you really would like to know that for your listening experience.
“Low Hanging Fruit” is the masterful centerpiece from their record Scratched Out, which was released earlier this year. It achieves what I think all perfect drones should do, which is to have a low, hypnotic refrain that hums as a meditative guidepost underneath the more active, hi-end chaos unfolding throughout the song. You can have all the dissonance and destruction you want in a drone song, or even the most minimal of melodies and chord structures – but if your song doesn’t have somewhere I can plant my feet and rest my head to watch everything unfold, then I’m not sure what to think of it. Some of my favorite ambient tracks also achieve this, like Eluvium’s “The Unfinished” and Preslav Literary School’s “Francis Servain Mirkovic.” But unlike those two songs, which are mostly soothing and featherlight, “Low Hanging Fruit” is heavy and gnashes at the senses.
Here, AIM LOW delight itself with shrieks of feedback that drift in and out of frame amongst other powerful sounds. Buzzsaw-like guitars actively dismantle some sort of establishment throughout the track. There’s the occasional low grumble of a fictional behemoth lurking in the darkness. Overall, the sound never stops – it just stretches its long limbs out into the sky and occupies as much space as possible. It’s as if you’re sitting under a punishing waterfall, but embodying a muted peace. The recording process itself took place in a church and pretty much all the reverb you hear in the song is natural, so the setting is fitting. One can find solace from the deluge of real world pain in a church. All the anguish still exists, but in this space it takes on a numbed-down quality.