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Blue Lambency Downward [Vinyl] Import

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Vinyl, Import, March 31, 2009
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (March 31, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Imports
  • ASIN: B001T9YG6K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,002,375 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
After the documented troubles composer Toby Driver faced touring "Downing Anemone..." it shouldn't come much of a surprise that "Blue Lambency Downward" is a very minimal low key outing as the primary focus is almost entirely on his foreboding if not outright threatening guitar distortions that can best be described as a drugged out Black Sabbath gone jazz. In a more accenting role, Mia's weeping violin is welcomingly emotional yet incredibly mysterious, offering little warmth to the gloomy experience. With more frequent vocal passages than ever featured on a Kayo Dot release, Driver proves to still be an effective crooner but he is anything but an intimate human voice; sounding more like a half insane wandering ghost moaning and chanting his way through the fog.

Those expecting the lush orchestrations and rich production the outfit has been known for will no doubt be disappointed as there is nothing majestic or traditionally beautiful about this album as the sound is surprisingly swampy, dark, and claustrophobic. So void is the album of studio magic that it might as well be a straight raw live recording with the sparse electronic effects only being used to increase the heavy haze that drowns the album. Despite the album's meager running time of 43 minutes with a staggering amount of songs for a Kayo Dot release, the album is essentially one giant piece: lurching, mumbling, and clawing to its own muddy grave in such a drawn out exhausting manner that it feels long enough.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"Blue Lambency Downward" is the third album under the Kayo Dot name. I'm not familiar with possible travails that may have gone on in the past or any of the things mentioned by some reviews. I know I have all three Kayo Dot albums and this is my favorite.
But why?...

First off, like the album prior "Blue Lambency Downward" which I like almost equally, the changes here intrigue me.
Like most post-rock albums you deal with lots of soft/loud dynamics. In particular, the title track is a perfect example in many ways. The song, "Blue Lambency Downward" takes its time building, almost tortuously slow, as you wait and wait for the inevitable 'big payoff' which does resolve and move onward to a beautiful segment of dense guitar timbres that change like scenery.
This is quite appropriate as the lyrics are also densely, dark, and poetic.
As mentioned by other reviews, the music is minimalist on this track, and seemingly so on other tracks that follow.

The album changes to a much needed pace with "Clelia Walking". Again, there is a sense of minimalism, however, there are many small musical discussions and wonderfully written horn charts.
The drums have an odd feel, sounding as if (and quite possibly were) recorded after the fact: having an almost improvised feel.
It's hard to tell, and being a musician myself, I tend to get too involved in this kind of issue. It shouldn't matter how a song was recorded and in fact, a lot of people have bestowed themselves the role of producer after the fact. In my reviews I'll pass on such issues.

That said, the sound is dense throughout, which does seem an artistic choice. It is a lovely sound in its own way, especially as the album develops and the musical arrangements reach the level of genius.
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