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The excellent debut collaboration between Devin Powers (SineRider) and Graham Marlowe, both of whom will be familiar to many of you from their previous releases on BFW and beyond.
We've been looking forward to this album at BFW for a while and it does not disappoint.
This is an album of real beauty. A wide range of sounds and styles blended seamlessly on a very interesting album. There are warped tapes, atmospheres, electronics and guitars creating delicate melodies and beautiful soundscapes.
All I can say is how good this album is, over and over!
Perhaps this review by Reed Burnam puts it better:
Cutting in with a heavy dose of psy-trance nomenclature wrapped up in the swaddling clothes of a skittering electro-ambient slice of laptronica, Lakewaves’ newest outing Lakewaves Vol. 1 is awash in a series of well-heeled compositions and aural landscapes imbued with a grounded yet astral sense of time and place. Lakewaves is a concept recording project of sorts; a chorus of sound pieced together by composer/keyboardists Graham Marlowe and Devin Powers, and one that aptly demonstrates the breadth of their interests. Exploring themes of daydream and the subconscious, the compositions on Lakewaves Vol. 1 are seemingly meant to both reflect and induce the half-waking state, gently guiding the listener down wavering pathways to arrive at some vantage point just behind the conscious mind.
One is likely to hear strains of many avenues of the digital sphere arising to the surface on this one, with bloodlines of laptronica, ambient, classic electro-trance, psych, jazzy down tempo, chillwave synth, soundtrack-isms, etc etc. There’s obvious homage being paid here to any number of pioneering electronic artists, from Kieran Hebden to Burial, Robert Rich to Flying Lotus, moments of slow-build psych ala more traditionally instrumented outfits such as Yume Bitsu or Sigur Ros, to the shadow side of Thom Yorke’s jitterbug Eraser excursions, and all manner of varied outings in-between. Throughout, Lakewaves Vol. 1 is theatrical, restrained when it needs to be, and well composed, and pretty nimble at flitting through the above stylistics pretty much at will, though a sense of eclecticism for eclecticism’s sake isn’t really a focus here.
Opener “Martian Greeting” kicks things off with an arpeggiated digital arc, as the bass and synthy melody slowly build up to greet it, coming together in a down tempo chill room orbital groove that sets things skyward from the opening mark. Followed up with the gently oscillating, orchestral, Four Tet-esque electro-psych of “Waking Moment” and the Another Green World soundscapism of the gossamer-laced “Refraction”, Lakewaves Vol. 1 is all upwards from there. Or perhaps more earthbound, as the slightly claustrophobic yet meditative contours of “Fellow” bring the ambience and the ambient in turn, focused in on the candle’s flame for a solid four minutes of trance-laden goodness.
Despite the propensity towards universal vibration, Marlowe and Powers’ interests seemingly do not all derive from the merely heady confines of current electro-intellectualism, and certain tracks bring the dance floor aesthetic, though without all the pomp, circumstance, and incessantly infantilized swaggage endemic to so much of what generically passes as “dance music” these days. “Consense” utilizes a swelling oceanic sound backdrop over a slightly staggered beat to mete the body rocking, while “Six Parts Seven” skitters and pops the classic Roland 505 sound underneath a delicately strung melodic veneer, dropping out by mid-track to give space to the near-Baroque outro key lines. Finishing up Lakewaves Vol. 1 are the at times rapturous outlines of “Psych Tape Dream”, where the jazzy psych motif rubs shoulders with a sleek down tempo rhythm section, and the eclectic biopic “Tape Hiss Dream”, which morphs and changes into several contrasting pieces over its six minutes of runtime, ending with a Silver Apples meets Cluster chillwave sunset heavy on the introspective end while keeping one foot earthbound. Just shy of 40:00 or so of runtime, Lakewaves Vol. 1 manages to craft an often beautiful, expressive palate of soundwash that can’t be accused of lacking cohesion or momentum; a relaxing, surprisingly good effort that rewards and requests repeat listens. Music to daydream by, this one is worth a second listen, followed by a third.