Dirk Von Lowtzow: Tod in Theben (Dial)
Dirk Von Lowtzow usually records as part of the German synth-pop acts Phantom/Ghost and Tocotronic, but flying solo here he is focusing on very different interests musically. The music served as an accompaniment to Angela Richter’s theater production of the same name. It’s a significant departure from the majority of Dial’s discography, divorced fully from the dancefloor and lacking any of the melancholy groove that usually characterizes the label. Instead Von Lowtzow explores murky, droning territory more akin to John Fahey, Barn Owl or Jim O’Rourke. Released ostensibly as a 12" or EP, Tod In Theben is around 40 minutes long and split into two discrete long halves. Both are extended pieces for solo electric guitar, seemingly done in one take without overdubs or edits. Those who love Dial’s typical output might be thrown off by the beatless and droning quality of this release, but it’s an interesting diversion as Von Lowtzow more fully indulges the darker, gloomier areas of his creativity.