12.10.21 by Matty McPherson
The Red Hill, CA based Katuktu Collective tape label has been an upstanding “aural refuge” for the past half decade or so. Aaris King has been handling efforts, with an emphasis on charitable partnerships, while networking with underground artists. It makes their releases a unique grab bag experience, with a keen, open ear to global curation of all shapes and sizes. One month you might be finding yourself with Senyawa’s Alkisah; half a year later, you might just be entering a portal into Sun Picture’s So Many Little Rooms.
Carlos Lowenstein’s Chicago-based solo project, Sun Picture, is an aural meditation on personal memories–specifically pertaining to Lowenstein’s early years of life in Venezuela. So Many Little Rooms is not lyrically focused, utilizing titles like “Roosters in Caracas mornings 1992,” “Tension at the park 1990,” or “Sometimes the monkey escaped” to more or less reveal inklings of this past where its synths may not. And yes, across this C34, Lowenstein does ground most of his sound in synths, creating low hums and wistful melodies. Still, there’s a lot of guitar jamming and motorik impulses imbued in these nine tracks; they carry a detached sense of krautrock aesthetics. Listening to the tape in real time, one might note how the drums (sometimes live, sometimes machine) and guitars slowly terraform, shifting their tunings and patterns, respectively. Memory changes, after all. Although Lowenstein is careful not to turn it into an outright jam, honing in on three to four minute vignettes. These songs could stretch, let’s not get that wrong, but that decision to let them operate in this manner rewards the wide palette Lowenstein brings out.
Naturally, it carries these memories through a vivid sonic timeline, allowing for repeated listens to reward different tracks and different attributes. Right now, I’ve been gripped specifically by Side A closer “We liked the harsh sun” — a kind of spiritual dub that invokes O.Rang. There’s a sense that it might just explode every time Lowenstein clashes at that detuned string instrument. Meanwhile, Side B opener “Saltwater throat feeling” glistens and dashes in four dimensions, recalling all those hours spent reading Forerunner terminals as much as a genuine flavor profile of salt water. There are truly so many little rooms Lowenstein can invoke.
Hand-numbered 4-panel J-card, hand-stamped shells, edition of 50 available from Katuktu Collective and Sun Picture’s own personal Bandcamp.