For an album with such in-your-face D.I.Y. packaging, especially one released on extreme noise label Backwards Records, DJ L.A.M.P.'s new release is surprisingly easy on the eardrums, at least most of the time. "Counter 8" is a bit crunchy and nervous, with looped underwater bells and electronic glitches coming together like the a musical cross between Poe's poetry and Lovecraft's short stories, but by and large DJ L.A.M.P. seems influenced more by the playfully dark experimental techno of Aphex Twin than his Backwards Records contemporaries. There's still plenty of fuzz and distortion, but there's a lot of warmth as well; "Sound Of The Machine" is particularly soothing in its own weird way, and "Words Against Themselves" is a lovely collection of low-octave harmonies and jungle-influenced rhythms. Even the more industrial-influenced pieces, like the metallic ambient composition "Twas The Day," incorporate elements of playfulness, with the arrangements of skittering static chasing each other in a sonic game of tag rather than engaging in the usual merciless tortures and torments. Beyond the readily apparent glitch influences, there are also hints of dub on the pleasantly trippy "Too Dark Too Late" and retro ambient in the vein of Tangerine Dream on the spaced out "With All These Fears." This isn't hipster techno, by any means, and the childlike music box melodies on "If Gates Could Talk" and the clanking noise on "Kill Them Chickens" are far too unsettling for your typical Boards Of Canada fan, but DJ L.A.M.P. does an excellent job bridging the gap between the softer and harsher sides of experimental electronic music.
Visit www.backwardsrecords.com for more information on DJ L.A.M.P.
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