Monday, September 20, 2010

Bowery Electric - Lushlife (V0)

Bowery Electric have been said to defy easy definition, but Lushlife, the final release by New York City Kranky comtemporaries Lawrence Chandler and Martha Schwendener proudly advertises its dizzying and seductive trip-hop roots. Schwedener's voice is heavily reminiscent of Beth Gibbons of Portishead rapport, only softer and more breathy. As a whole, really, Lushlife could be compared to a softer, breathier version of Portishead's Dummy. Where the latter excels in industrialism, the former excels in fluidity. Songs veer regularly into ambience, drawing images of cities late at night, lit up but devoid of any life, of walking along a corridor by oneself with nothing but concrete in plain view.

Bowery Electric is, like most trip-hop outfits, not meant to be shaken up or danced to, but here they seem to take that ideology to an extreme, preferring instead to use hip-hop instrumentals in much the same way Boards of Canada did; to move the listener across landscapes of sound, to allow the listener to appreciate them rather than being forced to interact with them.

God's on both sides,
Thank God we make them try,
Don't wake when the camera's on you,
You, you'll go out like a freedom fighter,
You're gone like a freedom fighter.

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