Lotto - "Phonetical Signs of Incongruous Demeanor"
(Holder of The Sacrament Records, 1999)

From Aural Innovations #8 (October 1999)

More twisted Nordic DIY mayhem from these early crash-test Amon Düül-meets-Einstürzende Neübaten freaks. Having reviewed them previously in these pages, leading them to getting airplay in Chicago, it only seems natural that their next offering would be housed in a stylish inlay tape card as well. 19 tracks of hallucinogenic nightmarish jams and strange found sounds litter this 90 minute cassette which should interest listeners of a more "avant-garde" slant as well as appreciators of dark, disturbing organic jamming. All the music is improvised, sounding much like a stone age Zoviet*France on occasion.

Whereas their first tape, "The Sound of Lotto!" was more of a varied retrospective over previous years, this new offering from brothers Knut Edvard and Brage Viken, and what I presume to be various helpers, move Lotto into a less Shaggs-on-bad acid territory and into more of the organic-industrial sounding soundscapes that are still very rough and raw, accompanied by chants and yelps, a maddening organ, a stuttering guitar, clanky drums and occasional primitive electronics and dark poetry.

Opening with "In The Accursed Realm of The Dark God", the band carry on their own mythological theme with a brief narrative over muddy guitar sounds. Next up is "Anionic Introversion" with a hypnotic, doomy organ sound as well. "Invocation of Tili Suru" is more of a meditative piece of clanking on glasses and a drum with distant chants and groans. "Kroofrudi Mibix" is a bizarre piece of gurgling sounds and beating on a drum to more weird chanting and some outlandish muttering which defies description. "Figment Dawn Dispeller PT. 1" sees Lotto's more full blown band sound moving into lo-fi spacerock territory building into a march of sorts which disperses into spacey guitar feedback. On the second side, "Nighted Exhibitions" opens with a distant clock and a sudden intrusion of a gothic organ with a growling narrative. The sludgy doom rocker "Executing a Grim Decision Made By The Dark God" is another highlight of a more accessible vein, followed by the dramatic organ laden "Sombre Stirrings of Vain Hope". "Swirling Beyond The Past" has a strange electronic organ and a subdued guitar, accompanied by a mystical whispered narrative. "Consuming The Autumn Aliment" is a longer droning instrumental piece with a sort of lazy drum overlaid with organ and keyboard. The oddly cacophonic "Hortatory Oratario" and "Celestial Fronds Glazed With Glandular Gloss" close the tape, and you realize that with concentrated effort, Lotto have yet again taken you on an outlandish journey, this time more conceptually perhaps than previously. For fans of strange music, non-music and anti-music alike.

For more information you can email Knut Edvard Viken at:

Reviewed by Christian Mumford

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