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Janek Schaefer Lay-by Lullaby
7/10 Mike Staff review, 06 February 2014
I tried to review this album yesterday but it sent me to sleep within less than half an hour. The concept is pretty simple - Janek Schaeffer has been field-recording a motorway lay-by in the middle of the night and now he's made an album based around those recordings. Don't worry, though, it's not just field recordings of the wind blowing and distant cars whooshing past, although that's certainly one element that features over the course of this CD.
In actual fact it's 73 minutes of very sleepy ambience with slowly unfolding drone melodies, concrete field recordings, subtle crackles and static hisses. In places almost nothing musical happens, and it's fair to say that this album is predominantly composed of drones and field recordings, but certain tracks like 'Radio 110 FM' have haunted looped strings and drums painting ghostly shapes over the whistling wind...before stopping and being replaced by a drone. If you like drones though, these are very relaxing ones with a certain nocturnal chilliness about them. I'm going to have to turn it off now before I fall asleep again...
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