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Laube - S/T [Small Doses - 2014]

Laube is the slowest band I have ever listened to.  This 2xCD compilation, released in 2014 on Small Doses, includes two of their previous albums. 

Their music progresses at such a maddeningly miniscule pace that it could be likened to viewing the progress of a snail or the growing of a fungus.  With muffled electric keyboards and dusty drumset as their primary elements, they create a thoroughly uninviting hopeless desolation in dreary, vaguely sketched minor key tonalities.

Thoroughly contrary to the pacing of any ordinary daily activity, their music is seemingly designed for a wholly other type of attention span, which I must not possess.  Attempting to focus on the sound is aggravating, as there are so few notes, and so much silence between them, that there's just not enough for my brain to do. 

A depressive, sluggish stupor seems to have captured the band, and in a pernament capacity.  It recalls an opiate junkie who has long since forgotten the thought of leaving his chair.  It's about as entertaining as watching the corpse of a newly dead animal as the insects slowly gather, or the the congregation of crows in a ghost town.

I've heard slow doom metal records, certainly, but those possessed a degree of menace and distortion not found on this dejected, sucking vortex of lethargy, draining away movement and happiness, seeming to impede all movement with the sheer thickness of its slowness. It is a muted minor key affair without a trace of distortion or aggression that mirrors the soft, inanimate cycles of lifeless places.

Perhaps this is closer to the music I've called 'slowcore', but this is slower still even than that, and lacking in any kind of overtly melancholic vocal work.  It could be compared as well to that famous classical minimalist Morton Feldman, whose work I've always found similarly impossible to listen to.  I can follow the tonalities of Laube's music a little better than in the case of Feldman, which always sounded emotionally void, mechanical and even random to me, but in the end, the music is no more satisfying, as it seems bring the listener to a hopeless, infuriatingly uneventful place without a providing a useful context to doing so.

The two albums included in this 2xCD compilation, entitled simply "Laube", are 2009's "Ausmerzen" and 2013's "Schwach Gekerbt".  There isn't any stylistic difference to speak of between the two records; both contain in equal parts the elements described above.

I would only recommend this set to somebody who is searching for the slowest music ever created, and even then, one must note that this album contains no heaviness, distortion, or badassery.  The band displays a high level of restraint and coordination to play organized compositions at this glacial speed, but ultimately I question whether the result could produce any enjoyment or useful food for thought.  The notes chosen cohere into little more than a vague hopelessness, begetting only itself; the end of a long dead end road.

Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5

Josh Landry
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Laube - S/T
Laube is the slowest band I have ever listened to.  This 2xCD compilation, released in 2014 on Small Doses, includes two of their previous albums. 
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