With his last studio album Song For Alpha coming out only two years ago and with recent collaborations with Alessandro Cortini and Roman Flügel (as Noun) relatively fresh in our mind, another full-on solo record from Daniel Avery comes as a bit of a surprise right now. Love + Light, however, is a coherent and moving musical statement of positivity.
Limited Vinyl LP £19.49 PHLP13
180g milky clear vinyl LP on Phantasy Sound. Comes in an embossed reverse board sleeve with printed inner sleeve.
- Limited edition
Limited CD £10.49 PHLP13CD
2CD on Phantasy Sound. Includes 'Falling Light' bonus CD.
- Limited edition
As part of Leeds International Festival last year, Daniel Avery performed a special concert at The Corn Exchange. The electronic producer presented original music as a backdrop for an immersive art installation under the ‘Falling Light’ title, inviting attendees to gaze at glows through pitch-black darkness on the building, themselves, and other attendees. Whether this experience informed Avery’s latest double album or if he’d had ideas floating around beforehand remains unknown, but ‘Love + Light’ stands as a tale of two moods, as club euphoria is matched with ethereal beauty.
Whilst the title suggests the discs are split into two-halves, the divide is unclear as many of the tracks in the ‘Love’ side are straight-up ambient tracks, as if to separate from the dancefloor primed numbers. The ‘Light’ side is more clear-cut in its production as it’s made up of mainly beatless, elegiac instrumentals which are serene and contemplative. Aspects that bridge the two together is the grainy psychedelia running through each track; there’s an abundance of hissing distortion, shoegaze influenced IDM and stargazing synths. It’s far afield from the lo-fi house of recent years, falling more on the side of techno with the influence of Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Bowery Electric and his time spent with Nine Inch Nails and Alessandro Cortini. There’re straight-up pounding techno numbers like ‘Dusting For Smoke’ and ‘Dream Distortion’, whilst ‘Searing Light, Forward Motion’ blends industrial with breaks like an acid-tainted jungle track. ‘Darlinnn’ teases exhilaration with a stretched build-up, and ‘Infinite Future’ sees distant percussion bleed into complex pitter-patters, complete with a hazy synth backdrop and off-kilter bass bounce. ‘Love + Light’ proves its elegance and dreamlike atmosphere in the harp plucks of ‘Katana’, the twinkling new-age-isms of ‘In to the Arms of Stillness’, and ‘A Story in E5’, a picturesque Boards of Canada tribute which is as beautiful and hopeful as any song you’ll hear this year.
‘Love + Light’ is a record drenched in ghostly splendour which sees Avery coming into his own as an original force. There’s variety so its easy to get lost in and listen to over and over, it boasts bangers to slot into a mix or add to a techno playlist, and it’s blend of club and alternative rock sounds grants it a wide-ranging appeal. It’s an addictive work to be immersed in and is possibly Avery’s greatest work to date.
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