As much as I liked Paul Dickow's last Strategy album, Future Rock, I like his new one, Music for Lamping, a bit more. The previous album was a curious blend of World Music-style rhythms blended with electronica, and it worked in a way Moby's styles theoretically should have worked. It was funky, but in a rather intellectual way. If Future Rock's modus operandi was to get your feet to move, Music for Lamping is the exact opposite; its charms are pure overcast, downbeat drone and foggy atmospherics. It's what some might call "space music," and rightly so: this is the sort of music that soundtracks starry nights, rainy nights, cloudy nights, moonlight nights, snowy nights, stormy nights. I think that's what Paul was going for; hence the connotations in the title! Heck, I'll be honest; when I first gave this record a go, I did so during the afternoon, and it didn't really reveal its inner beauty; as soon as the sun went down, though, well…hello sailor!
None of Music for Lamping clocks in at less than five minutes, and is bookended by two beautiful fourteen-minute compositions. But time isn't important here; like the best records of this genre, Music for Lamping is a record that flows seamlessly, and you don't really think about trivial things as songs or song titles or "gee, what is he going to do on the next track?" If you listen to Music for Lamping properly, you really won't care about such trivial matters. None of the songs are particularly assuming; there's not much activity within their melodies, but don't worry; the album won't bore you, though it will compel your senses to relax. If I were to describe what he's going for on songs like "I Can't Stand the Rain" or "Cathedral Spark," it's that he's trying to capture the sounds of a city at night. Of course that might be exactly what he's going for. If so, he's succeeded! Music for Lamping is one of the better 'chill-out' records I've heard in a while, and is a gorgeous though unsurprisingly lovely little treat from one of today's more prolific electronic composers.
Listen To: " World Service"
Music for Lamping is available now on Audio Dregs
Labels: Audio Dregs, Reviews S, Strategy