Get Lost

You should stop reading right here if you don’t like feeling good.  Seriously, stop now if you don’t like relaxing music.  No need to go any further if you’ve never enjoyed any of the following: Air, Zero 7, Ulrich Schnauss or Saint Etienne. Cool, you’re still with me.  You’ll probably like this music.  Like how I’m trying to save you time?  I do so because music like this certainly doesn’t.  It’s meant to simmer, and bubble and percolate; it always blurs the line between start and finish, movement and stagnation.  I warn you simply because I like to take my time with music that does too.  At just over sixty minutes, this is no quick dip.

The fondness for ambient, post-party, chill-out music in England is almost maternal in its conception.  The country has had a seminal influence on the development of the genre, and the genre has, in turn, galvanized an undying, even unyielding, demand for more.  Dreary, thick, molasses-infected beats, covered in droning and echoing synth progressions define the majority of downtempo/trip-hop/ambient UK acts such as Portishead, Massive Attack, Morcheeba, and Aphex Twin, to name but the tip of the tip of the iceberg.  This sound came to define a whole experience: that of coming home after a party or clubbing, indulging in whatever calming activities one might indulge in, and continuing to fuel the night with music – it was never about ‘music to fall asleep to’; it’s about downshifting gears, but keeping on.  Here we have a culmination of and answer to the chill out music culture so well-nurtured in the UK.

With his much-awaited sophomore album, Bruce Bickerton a.k.a. Alucidnation, is certainly keeping on with that brand of blissed-out, ambient chill heard on his debut album, Induction (Big Chill Recordings; 2004).  This time around, on Get Lost (Big Chill Recordings; 2009), the album title seems to be very indicative of the intentions of his music.  If you need any more symbolism, just look to the arrow on the album cover.  The opener, “Meantime”, does a fine job of both introducing and setting the tone with its semblance to Ulrich Schnauss’s delayed, stretched out ambient synth layering.  He builds on this foundation with a track more akin to trip-hop in “The Message”.  The contrast of these first two tracks is intriguing and hints at the varying degrees of ambient, downtempo and pop music to be found on the album.

“Solitaire”, “Infinite Variety” and “Pedal Steal” showcase the albums poppy, head-nodding, even knee-sleeping sounds; but tracks like “15 Below”, which is the purest piece of ambient on the album, “Dubhead” and its groggy, 6 am, distracted presentation of dubstep, and “Skygazer”‘s subtle, droning flittering-away show how varied and intricate the album really is.

I hope you do follow the album’s call.  It, however, needs to get found.



~ by baseclef on August 29, 2009.

One Response to “Get Lost”

  1. Glad to see you are back in the groove!

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