Wild Life –  Lake Lustre (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Electronic music always had more potential than the guitar scene that it had to fight its way through. I, being old, remember the way it was treated in its infancy, how it was derided for not being real music, but even in those early, monophonic keyboard days, as ex-punks bent broken keyboards to their will, I knew that they were having more fun than the kids who were just putting six strings through a distortion pedal. The latter were only screwing around with the sound of the past. The former were building the sound of the future.

But that was then and this is now. And, as predicted, now sounds brilliant and bands like Lake Lustre are the logical conclusion of those hard won sonic wars. Technology has moved on and with it the scope and imagination of the music being made and Wild Life is gorgeous wash of gentle beats and lush textures, of shimmering sounds and delicate chiming synth sublimity. 

It has a minimalism and mood which at times reminds me of Talk Talk, a reference that may be lost on the younger set but take it from me, in my world there are few higher accolades. And being the modern world, you get an accompanying video, one that cleverly underlines everything that is great about the song. It visually reinforces the song’s connection with nature, it’s gentle and reflective mood speaks of a nostalgic feeling for the past and the two fey-like girls suggest duality, otherworldliness and innocence. Well, that’s what I’m getting anyway.

But like all good music, things should be less about the intended message and more about what the listener hears in the music, the artist’s intent and how the audience interprets things are both as important and able to exist side by side anyway. It’s a gorgeous slice of music. Gentle and lilting yet powerful in its grace and understatement, this is music which seems to make its presence felt not by standing out but by oozing through, over, in and around your senses until it, for a while at least, becomes the whole and only world around you.

Cinematic and filmic, both the music and the video for Wild Life (a title perhaps with at least two meanings) feel more like a soundtrack to a movie yet to be written rather than a song and I suspect that Joe Scerri, the man behind the Lake Lustre name, considers himself more a composer than a song writer in the traditional sense. Which is as it should be. Not everything has to be about big impacts and high end sonic statements, pop perkiness and the shifting of “units”. There is power in the understatement, elegance in restraint, eloquence in the obscure.

After all, why be brash when you can beautiful? Why be grandiose when you can be graceful? Why be big when you can be clever? Why indeed?

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