Sunday, October 4, 2009

Balancing Lakes - (2008)

Balancing Lakes is a collection of tracks recorded by Barry Lynn in the four years preceding his debut LP as Boxcutter, Oneiric. It’s a set that shows a talent already fully-formed, even if he doesn’t always seem too sure how best to use it. If the three Boxcutter albums are pretty eclectic, this takes the proverbial biscuit. Lynn seems happy to turn his hand to pretty much anything from the past 15 or so years of electronic music. If the tunes sometimes lack originality, they are never less than deftly created. And some are very good indeed.Things start on a dubby minimal techno kick with “Abort, Retry, Fail”, a fair indication of things to come. Second cut “Something With M In It” is an affectionate nod to the mid nineties Warp Artificial Intelligence sound – all muted beats and distant, melancholy synth washes. “LTI” takes that blueprint and gives it a harder late nineties edge. Both tunes are done exceptionally well. Sometimes the influences are a little too obvious. Even Richard James would probably think that “Leafy Imprint” was one of his! Elsewhere Lynn takes on drum and bass. “Loving Dub” is defiantly from the old school, while “Lattice Shimmer” has more of a gleaming, tech-step sheen and “J-Set Jogwheel” feels totally contemporary. “Early Reflection” is a stand-out cut – a stunning IDM track with a distressed, grubby beat. It’s easily as good as anything on the three Boxcutter records. The dub influences that are heavily featured on Glyphic are represented on Balancing Lakes. “Hayfever Dub” is pretty straightforward with little to distinguish it. “London Gear” sounds almost prehistoric with its scuffed jungle beats and time-stretched vocals – like it was beamed in from 1992. Anyone who enjoyed the three Boxcutter LPs will find a lot to love on this record. (

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