Music should always speak for itself and just as The Way Out Is In, which came my way only a few months back, told me volumes about the artist, this album just reinforces his beguiling originality. Between these two albums, and of course, Nobody Wins (Pray For Ukraine), you can paint a vivid picture of Marc Lowe. Here is someone with a relentless work ethic. Someone who seems more concerned with the delivery of ideas than the slick production of their execution. Someone who isn’t constrained by the traditional structures of songs. Someone who views genres and styles as a distraction, a faddish game that he refuses to play. Here is someone who makes music on their own terms.
Like much of his work, it references some of what has gone before, as if he sees music as conversations that just as readily circle back to previous discussions as they do break new ground. As such, Waves Between Emptiness is, in some ways, a bridge between The Way Out Is In and last year’s Tetralogy touching on some of the sonics and themes but mainly spanning new territory while always acting as a way of traveling between these two worlds.
It is a challenging place to spend some time, but then that is the whole point, Marc is not someone who gives you what you want, nor possibly even what you need but perhaps something that will make you question the very nature of music and fashion and conformity and structure and…well, a hundred other things that you may have taken for granted.
So, what we get here are several songs from previous albums that he revisits, reimagines, and remixes, but then you could argue that a song is never truly finished so why not give it a new lease of life from time to time to help it reach its full potential. We also get plenty of new compositions which push at the boundaries of genre and tradition, songs that run at their own pace and according to their own rules, that seem to be built out of the same sonic building blocks as most music that you have heard yet end up sounding like little that you have heard before. Songs seem to purposefully drag and elongate to pull the maximum emotion from every note and lyric, they stretch time or at least conform to their own concept of it. It’s all very quantum!
There is also room for The Beatle’s classic Eleanor Rigby. Now, I’m a massive fan of this song but even I think that it is about time someone did something new with it after fifty-plus years of artists trying to out-Paul, Paul. You can’t, you might as well take such songs into completely new territory, which is certainly what Marc does here. I suspect Paul would love it.
As with all of Marc’s music, it will divide opinion, though I suspect that he wouldn’t be happy any other way. To some, it will be too avant-garde (though I think being not avant grade enough is a bigger crime), too “out there,” too odd (that’s a word I use a lot when around Marc’s music, but I always see it as a positive description), too off-beat. (Again, being “on-beat” sounds like a drag.)
But all of those reasons, for me at least, are exactly why you need music in your life, why the music industry needs to take notice and why the world in general needs to waken up to artists like Marc Lowe.