Peaking Lights’ previous, and debut, full length, 936, was a bit of surprise splash here at the office. Arriving straight from the summer sun, it offered up the necessary big bass lines, gritty lo-fi production, and wanderlust charm that we needed to survive heatwaves. Where that record did a bit of a tightrope walk, though, was in its seemingly split personalities. It was a record culling heavily from dub music, filtered through a clear education in krautrock (Neu!, Kraftwerk), all while throughout trying to appeal to today’s scene of, what’s everyone calling it, chillwave? Those are quick associations, but the record undeniably hit on a multitude of styles, ultimately making it highly intriguing to see what would come next. Lucifer, the followup, takes all the right steps. While there is an obvious upgrade in its polished production, the charm of 936’s sun soaked melodies is retained, and furthermore, refined. Singer Indra Dunis softly guides boundless interplays between organs, drum machines, and husband Aaron Coyes’ modular synths (allegedly assembled from second-hand, thrift store electronics). Thick layers of reverb and echo accompany an almost call-and-response between treble and bass ranges. It brings to mind some scenario in which a band like Broadcast or Stereolab meets Lee Perry or King Tubby, and the two wind up having a baby. Furthermore, the husband/wife duo of Dunis and Coyes explain the album as an ode to and story of their own newborn, that it is “about exploring the world as a newborn would.” Lucifer is the product of its parents, Peaking Lights’ previous work, a sturdy base of influence, but all the while treads very exciting (relaxing might be more appropriate, excitingly relaxing) newness. Highlights including “Beautiful Son”, “Cosmic Tides”, and “LO HI”. Also Includes a super cool flexi-disc with "Beautiful Son."
- music label: Mexican Summer 2012
reviewed by A. Tomorrow 06/2012
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