Album Review

Lapalux - Lustmore

‘Lustmore’ is beautifully complex, but subtly so.

Lapalux - Lustmore

There’s an indescribable place somewhere between awake and dreaming where everything makes both perfect sense and is completely alien. A place where everything is entirely real but at the same time could never be. The technical term for this place is hypnogogia, which if nothing else is fun to say. Most people float through hypnogogia straight into a good night’s rest without a second thought. Lapalux drags himself out of bed, swaps his nightcap for a pair of headphones and recreates an impossibly complex feeling through music. Never one to shy away from a challenge Lapalux tackles this effortlessly, creating something both immensely personal and yet totally universal. It’s hard to place just exactly why Lapalux’s second studio album ‘Lustmore’ is so special until this loose theme, flowing dreamily through the entire outing, is noted.

‘Lustmore’ is beautifully complex, but subtly so. The surface layer of the majority feels floaty and hypnotic, endless synths stretch from one track to the next, intertwining each dreamy soundscape with the next, creating a single flowing idea of something out of this world. Underneath however things are much more restless than they may seem on first listen. Switching back and forth between the futuristic, metallic clashes of ‘U Never Know’, the wooden, primitive percussion of ‘Sum Body’ and a strong yet often barely audible link to the kind of old school hip-hop and jazz throughout that is hardly surprising to hear from an artist signed to Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label and yet still adds a good deal of authenticity and depth. This is all before the flawlessly beautiful vocals of both Szjerdene and Andreya Triana are even touched on. Szjerdene in particular, who’s probably most notable for her previous work with Bonobo, doesn’t miss a single note, ever and makes ‘Closure’ easily the standout track on this album.

Just as ‘Lustmore’ reaches its most dreamy, right before hypnogogia becomes deep sleep there’s a sudden, unexpected jolt in the form of ‘Make Money’. If ‘Lustmore’ is representative of a journey towards a dream state then ‘Make Money’ is a nightmare. Jarring, aggressive dub-step comes storming through a blissful, dreamy world, shattering the almost continual flow of the previous 12 tracks instantaneously. ‘Make Money’ stomps its feet, bares its fangs and then is gone. Clocking in at under two minutes there’s barely time to dive for the volume nob before it’s over and closer ‘Funny Games’, a title which feels slightly mocking after the previous onslaught, effortlessly recaptures the tranquillity of the rest of the record. This brief moment of madness is a reminder that while Lapalux might seem tender, he’s not, he can still break down walls.

The trouble with the hypnogogia theme is that it’s an unconscious feeling, one we never seek out and one we forget almost instantly once it’s over, no matter how at peace we may be during. The same could perhaps be said of ‘Lustmore’. With the exception of ‘Make Money’ it’s easy to drift off, both enjoying the twinkly, serene backdrop to some inane daydream about what might be for dinner later but at the same time never really listening or feeling anything particularly strong for the record. Upon reaching ‘Lustmore’’s conclusion the whole experience is little more than a forgotten dream with a vague idea that something spectacular might have happened. This doesn’t make ‘Lustmore’ a bad album, far from it, it’s just difficult to get excited about something that may have hardly happened in the first place.

Tags: Lapalux, Reviews, Album Reviews

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