Lost Landscapes –  Lost Chocolate Lab (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

475310How can you use the least amount of sound to effect the biggest impact? How can empty space be harnessed to work for a musician? How can you guide the listeners emotions rather than dictate to them? What if music could just be a matter of framing the sounds that are found in the natural world, rather than replacing them? These are the sort of questions I can imagine being banded around as the music that became Lost Landscapes was being created. I may be wrong, maybe that wasn’t the thought process at all but if not then it seems more than a coincidence that this album is the perfect answer to all of those questions.

It is difficult to discuss individual tracks with music such as this, as these long, lingering slices of instrumental beauty are less songs and more a collection of dreamscapes drifting roughly in the same direction and to vaguely the same purpose. Anything more solid than that would undermine their transient nature and graceful existence. But within that collective, smoke-like existence you begin to detect interesting motifs, just slight fingerprints and often a portent of what the next track will deliver.

The reverb drenched guitar that builds at the end of Squall and heralds the intensity of what is to follow on Everything is Heavy, the wonderful dying of Fold Space that highlights the juxtaposed blend of delicacy and industrial drone of Nighttime Drive or just the contrast between the gentle album opening of Contents/Weightless with the hypnotic looping echoes that the album exits on.

But by and large it is not an album to concentrate on, it is an album have wash over you, these are not songs but the musical equivalent of shifting hues within the same colour range and for all its strange slow burning dynamic, its beguiling and glacial passing, it is an album of intrigue, patience and grace, one to be absorbed by osmosis rather than to be understood or examined. If you need music which feels the need to justify its existence or explain itself, then this is not for you. There are no answers here but then again, when has real beauty ever felt the need to justify itself?

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