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Lowlife \ Diminuendo + Singles [LTMCD 2392]

LTM presents a newly remastered 2022 edition of Diminuendo, the second album by cult Scottish cold wave band Lowlife, who released a string of acclaimed albums between 1985 and 1995.

Lowlife were formed in Grangemouth in 1985 when original Cocteau Twins bassist Will Heggie joined forces with former Dead Neighbours members Craig Lorentsen, Grant McDowell and Stuart Everest. Their morose, gothic dreampop and immaculate angst would often be compared to Joy Division, Bauhaus Comsat Angels and - yes - the Cocteau Twins, yet the band received widespread acclaim over the course of six albums released through indie label Nightshift: Rain (1985), Permanent Sleep (1986), Diminuendo (1987), Godhead (1989), The Black Album (1988), San Antorium (1991) and Gush (1995).

Newly remastered by Peter Beckmann at TechnologyWorks in 2022, Diminuendo + Singles combines all 9 tracks from the original 1987 album with 6 bonus tracks taken from non-album singles and EPs Hollow Gut, Vain Delights and Swirl It Swings. 74 minutes of music, with liner notes by journalist and former manager Brian Guthrie as well as photos and ephemera.


1. A Sullen Sky
2. Big Uncle Ugliness
3. Ragged Rise to Tumbledown
4. From Side to Side
5. Off Pale Yellow
6. Tongue Tied and Twisted
7. Licking One's Wounds
8. Wonders Will Never Cease
9. Given to Dreaming
10. Hollow Gut
11. Permanent Sleep (Steel Mix)
12. Eternity Road (12" version)
13. Swing
14. Colours Blue
15. Ramafied

Available on CD and digital (MP3 or FLAC). To order CD please first select correct shipping option (UK, EU or Rest of World) and then click on Buy Now button below the cover image. Digital copies are delivered to customers via link sent by email.

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Diminuendo + Singles [LTMCD 2392]
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"There's a moment when the sweet melancholy of Diminuendo knocks every atom of oxygen out of your body, and amazingly it comes three seconds into the opening track. Spinning at the intersection of cold wave and dreampop, this has been a cult classic for 35 years. It's not hard to understand why - it really is a terrific album. Trust me." (Electronic Sound, 06/2022)

"Although Lowlife didn't project a stereotypical gothic image at all, their music on Diminuendo has a measure in common with the work of Joy Division, The Cure and even The Sisters Of Mercy and Psychedelic Furs. Lyrically Lowlife were enigmatic, but detectable is a sense of fleeting emotional highs and even ebullience, something that often comes hand in hand with regret and sadness. There is a dry 1980s drum sound that is employed here and it is perhaps the only thing that drags down the album's momentum a little, but the magisterial delivery and poise that is all Lowlife's own easily atones for that. The brooding melancholy of A Sullen Sky sets in Diminuendo motion, carefully portraying a feeling of both beauty and loss. Then we have Big Uncle Ugliness, which is propelled by an elastic bass and Craig Lorentsen's deep near-yodelling vocals. If the title of Ragged Rise to Tumbledown provides us a hint of the pitch-black humour that runs through the LP and indeed all Lowlife's work, the pacing and playing render it a truly epic example of doomy but entrancing pop music."

"From Side to Side takes the tempo down a notch, with zesty swathes of guitar noise cutting in over a static rhythm. Despite the downbeat nature of the record, it's still very accessible, for example the acoustic strum on Off Pale Yellow posits an atmosphere not that far away from how a gothic Smiths might sound. Tongue Tied and Twisted has an intro as refreshing as a bracing spring morning, before zipping along nicely and the patient progress of Licking One's Wounds comes with the release of a rumble of drums and the finely judged pacing, both being a joy to the ear. The album concludes with Given To Dreaming, where Lowlife's strengths are bought together and the sudden ending helps to leave the band and the record with all its grandeur and mystery intact. While this edition doesn't have any new extras added from its previous LTM issue, the new remastering job is thorough and does give it a full sound that really suits the material. It successfully dubs Diminuendo with a clarity that Lowlife's craft deserves. What they had was special and deserves to be heard and you can hear it at its best here" (Louder Than War, 04/2022)

"Diminuendo captures Lowlife at their peak, dismissing the inevitable Cocteau Twins and gothic rock comparisons and crafting an album of real distinction. With the inclusion of some of their best singles, and the strong Swirl It Swings EP, 1987 was definitely the year when Lowlife really should have reached beyond their cult following" (Leonard's Lair, 04/2006)

"Hyperbole and superlative are safe and easy harbours for critics, yet Lowlife assemble the journeyman's tools of guitar, bass, drums and voice and touch the skies" (Melody Maker, 1987)

"Characteristic grim beauty" (M8, 1987)

"Evocative and dramatic but never overbearing. Lowlife's sound, drenched in reverb and clean upfront guitars, runs an interesting sweep across a good clutch of favourable influences - the Bunnymen, Comsat Angels, New Order" (Q, 1987)

"A landmark album, bursting with feeling and dripping with emotion" (Music Week, 1987)

"A 4AD record in all but name, but played exactly right: the opaque song structures, the aura of wonder, that pulsating bass sound, those outlandish song titles" (Underground, 1987)