My Albums


Ariel Kalma is the kind of musician that collectors live their lives to find at the bottom of a dollar record bin, and the kind who fellow musicians hope to become. He is a composer who worked on the periphery of a fringe movement, whose early adherents have recently seen an explosion in popularity...

- Vivian Hua,

More reviews


Reviews of
We Know Each Other Somehow

by Ariel Kalma & Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe
released by RVNG, New York in April 2015 - BUY here

Sunshine Soup - Both on Top
10-minute video sample of the 1-hour video made during the recordings

Reviews of other albums:
Osmose | Le Temps des Moissons | Chillout India | Spirit Dancer
2014: Releases from the 70s and 80s
An Evolutionary Music | Open Like A Flute

Reviews & Interviews


-> by Troy Micheau

Ariel Kalma is the kind of musician that collectors live their lives to find at the bottom of a dollar record bin, and the kind who fellow musicians hope to become. He is a composer who worked on the periphery of a fringe movement, whose early adherents have recently seen an explosion in popularity, despite spending the last few decades in relative obscurity. ... More

-> by Grant 'Gumshoe' Purdum

Before we delve into the raga-drone madness of Somehow We Know Each Other, let us meet our participants:

• Robert Aiki: née Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, formerly frontman for 90 Day Men, currently caretaker of Lichens, a solo project replete with mod-synth patches and voice.
• Ariel Kalma: World traveler, multi-instrumentalist, and experimental-music shaman being discovered by a fresh generation of listeners.
• RVNG Intl.: The label that makes FRKWYS happen; sage voice in the underground, fellow travelers, collaboration instigators, etc. ... More

-> by Thomas Malésieux (French)

Il y a avant tout une co llection discographique, FRKWS, avec une riche idée : proposer un disque, un film ou un concert qui repose sur une rencontre intergénérationnelle. Une carte blanche ou libre commande qui, volume après volume, ressemble de plus en plus à un livre d’or des musiques expérimentales de notre temps.... more

-> - RVNG Intl. recupera la obra de Ariel Kalma (Spanish)

Rvng Intl. prosigue con su tarea de recuperar la obra de productores olvidados. Si antes le toco a Kerry Leimer y Craig Leon, ahora RVNG ha compartido todos los detalles sobre la tercera y última referencia de Re-RVNG en 2014.

En esta ocasión se centrarán en la obra de Ariel Kalma, un músico francés que colaboró con diferentes grupos a principios de la década de los 70. Kalma se inspiró en las músicas sagradas de la India, aprendiendo técnicas circulares de respiración parta sostener notas, al mismo tiempo que creaba armonías loopeadas con diferentes artefactos... more

-> How birdsong and the 'collective voice' informed the character of Kalma and Lowe's collaborative album for RVNG Intl.'s FRKWYS series.

RVNG Intl.'s FRKWYS series has made some unlikely but excellent pairings between artists and generations across its 12 volumes so far - The Congos with Sun Araw, David Borden with James Ferraro, Laurel Halo, Sam Godin, and Daniel Lopatin, etc. Their latest brings together Ariel Kalma and Robert Lowe for 'We Know Each Other Somehow', a luscious, six-track album of ambient atmospheres and field recordings.... more

-> by Paul Braillard (French)

Si l'Amérique a Terry Riley, la France a Ariel Kalma. Compositeur précurseur de musique électroacoustique planante, ce saxophoniste qui a commencé sa carrière comme musicien de scène aux côtés d'Adamo, Jacques Higelin ou de Richard Pinhas et qui trainait dans les studios du GRM entre deux voyages transeux en Inde, n'a pourtant pas rencontré le succès d'estime et commercial qu'il méritait. Le retour de flammes autour des pionniers de la musique new age a heureusement forcé le destin à rectifier son tir: les plus grandes de ses oeuvres sont rééditées par des labels aussi prestigieux que RVNG Intl.Wah Wah Records ou Black Sweat, et c'est l'époque toute entière qui semble enfin mesurer l'importance de ses apports à la musique "verticale" - comme si Kalma était finalement, enfin rattrapé par son avant-gardisme. A l'occasion de son retour aux affaires en compagnie du prodige américain Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (le magnifique We Know Each Other Somehow, qui vient de paraître chez RVNG Intl.), rencontre avec cet explorateur de la space music qui n'a jamais eu peur de  l'inconnu... more

-> - Review of the movie "Sunshine Soup", a documentary exploring the process behind the album's creation - by Tristan Bath

In tandem with the release of We Know Each Other Somehowcomes the surreal abstract film, Sunshine Soup, a documentary of sorts exploring the process behind the album's creation at Ariel Kalma's home in Mullumbimby, New South Wales. We see Robert Lowe bent over a babbling river, field recording via the microphone grasped in his right hand. We see Ariel Kalma leading Lowe through the idyllic natural surroundings, pointing out colourful sweet-smelling flowers to sample. We see Kalma cross-legged on a beach, tapping out ringing tones on Tibetan bowls in a ritual for nobody more than himself and the sand. We see Lowe staring out at the lapping waves, in a state of utter serenity. There's little-to-no dialogue, and only sporadic images of the pair really working together behind their instruments, and yet the film - shot on knowingly grainy Super 8 film and littered with vintage visual effects - captures the spirit of the collaboration perfectly.... more

-> by Thibault (French)

Avec la récente rencontre gravée dans le sillon entre Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe et Ariel Kalma, le label RVNG Intl. poursuit sa magnifique série FRKWYS, le LP We Know Each Other Somehow sorti le 14 avril dernier étant sa douzième référence. Partant d’un ambitieux et valeureux postulat collaboratif, cette série confronte par style ou par approche un artiste expérimental contemporain à l’un de ses prédécesseurs....more

-> by Dr Rob

The essence flows towards the source. Drones buzz and dart like summer`s nymphs. A New Orlean`s healing chant blows, mixing night`s noir with day`s wildlife song. Organ swells loop and repeat, like a storm gathering in the distance. A darkness building, threatening the sky, `til the waters drown out the birds with their atomic chatter. Voice and saxophone resonate. A call to prayer, a post-harm calm. Destruction as beginning. A time for reflection, rebuilding, and growth. Futures and past.... more

-> by Juno Plus

... In some ways, Ariel Kalma and Robert Aiki Lowe are natural musical bedfellows. The former’s long and industrious career has seen him touch on all manner of musical styles since the 1970s, with an emphasis on modular synthesizers, free jazz, modal music and Eastern mysticism. His pioneering early work was gathered together by RVNG on last year’s An Evolutionary Music: Original Recordings 1972-79, before the New York-based label elected to offer Kalma the chance to work with Lowe for FRKWYS. The latter’s superb 2012 album, Tirmon Irnok Mantra, shared many aesthetics with Kalma’s work, most notably a fascination with the hypnotic power of modular synthesis, an obsession with working a groove to its very limits, and a keen interest in the natural world. It, too, was strangely humid and curiously exotic, as if it had come from a similar musical place to Kalma’s spine-tingling, drawn-out epics.... more

-> by Bryon Hayes

...  For the series' 12th release, French INA-GRM alumnus and astral voyager Ariel Kalma joins hands with synth/vocal conjurer Lichens, who for the first time is issuing music under his own name.  
Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe is relatively well known for his signature blend of haunting vocal tones and modular synth explorations, while Kalma was recently re-introduced to the world via the utterly gorgeous An Evolutionary Musiccompilation, which compiled some of his compositions from the 1970s and was also issued via RVNG Intl. The two musicians complement each other perfectly, as Kalma's tape work and saxophone blend seamlessly with the vocal vortices and synthetic visions conjured by Lowe.... more

-> by Ryan Sparks

The latest release, under their FRKWYS series, from Brooklyn based label RVNG Intl, finds two synth pioneers from different generations coming together to create an album of stunningly brilliant and refreshing electronic music. The aim of the FRKWYS series is in the words of the label "to celebrate intergenerational collaboration", so what better way to satisfy this aim than by having Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe and Ariel Kalma fuse their collective heads and sounds together.... more

Interviews - We Know Each Other Somehow

-> by Dwight Pavlovic

Robert, had you been familiar with Mullumbimby and Ariel’s Main Arm studio prior to RVNG masterminding this collaboration?

Robert: No, I wasn’t. I’ve been to Australia before and when I was on the east coast, only around Brisbane and Sydney, only in major cities. I didn’t really get to spend any time outside of that context before coming to work on the album with Ariel.

Ariel: I used to live in the United States for some years, on Maui. I had a friend who had settled there but then moved to Australia, and he wrote to me “Oh man, you should come out here, it’s so much better...” or something more like “Here now, is what Maui was like ten years ago,” and I loved that feeling. At some point later I and my family were looking at what we’d do next, and we decided we to go to Australia… so we packed up a container and moved! ...

click here for the full interview

-> - Between 2 kinds or organised chaos

Despite the different trajectories of Ariel Kalma and Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe’s musical lives, it’s not difficult to see why RVNG Intl’s Matt Werth decided they would make ideal partners for an inter-generational FRKWYS collaboration.

Both artists have carved out their own niche in modular synthesis, Kalma being an early adopter of the technology during his work in the seventies as a technician at Pierre Henry’s GRM in Paris, and Lowe recording and performing with modular and voice as Lichens since the mid-2000s. But as the title of their album We Know Each Other Somehowsuggests, their affinities go far beyond a preference for what Kalma describes as the infinite possibilities of modular synthesizers.... more

-> - Watch Ariel Kalma and Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe jam in the studio

This clip is from the sessions for Sunshine Soup, a documentary on the duo's forthcoming collaborative record on RVNG Intl.

For the experimental music world, Brooklyn label RVNG Intl's FRKWYS series is a real treat. That's because the label pairs up a contemporary artist with one of their musical forebears, and the collaborator choices are always really interesting. The latest in the series is We Know Each Other Somehowdue out April 14th, which brings together contemporary modular synth musician and vocal improviser Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowewith French-born musician Ariel Kalma. ...more

-> - The AD interview

Some creative unions take time and labor to coalesce. For Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe and Ariel Kalma, an artistic connection was established at lightning speed. A few conversations, a meet up in San Francisco, and then to Byron Bay, Australia, where the two took a few walks, got some coffee, and created We Know Each Other Somehow, the twelfth volume in RVNG Intl.’s FRKWYS series of collaborative albums. It’s a gorgeous LP, a gentle unfolding of astral jazz and cosmic drones.... more


We Know Each Other Somehow is the twelfth volume of FRKWYS, the music, film, and event series celebrating intergenerational collaboration. For this installment, RVNG Intl. offers a collection of original compositions by Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe and Ariel Kalma. 

Lowe was previously a member of American progressive rock band 90 Day Men, before beginning his solo project. He was involved also in the band OM, performing tambura and vocals for stoner/doom metal band Om on their albums God Is Good and Advaitic Songs and also joined them on stage. 

Parisian-born Ariel Kalma is a very meticulous musician, using rhythms, melodies and grooves from various cultures, ambient atmospheres, modal music, native instruments and nature. He studied with the electro-acoustic Group de Recherches Musicales, jammed with Don Cherry and Richard Pinhas and hung with the Arica collective, whose creative philosophies directly inspired Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain. ... more


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