Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
E Luxo So
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
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David Kipp | Melbourne, Australia | 06/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Catholic monk Thomas Merton in his book No Man Is An Island wrote of the paramount importance of silence in all things - without silence, he held, there could be no real beauty. It remains to be seen whether Mark Nelson has been studying Merton's writings, but it's not difficult to appreciate the vast stillness that lies at the centre of Labradford's fifth record, E Luxo So. This is a record of slow, measured pieces of music that are simply constructed around uncomplicated guitar and bass lines, spare touches of keyboard and murmuring electronics. It's fitting that in the pieces are merely numbered 1 to 6 - such music ultimately needs no titles, for what purpose would they serve?Those looking for a reference point for such music might well begin with the compositions of Arvo Pärt, who weaves simple yet eloquent pieces from largely static themes. It could also be said that E Luxo So is both the logical extension of Labradford's earlier music and the herald of Mark Nelson's later work as Pan American. I feel, however, that in the end such references are useless. Labradford, having progressed from the murky, uneasy rumble of such records as their third, self-titled, album, have moved beyond the stage where their work demands comparison. The music barely moves and yet is strongly moving - it is a journey inward at whose "end" (the sixth piece, whose frugal guitar melody suggests unspeakable loss) I realise that to have heard this record is in fact a new beginning. If what I have written seems pretentious, it is merely because I am striving to express in words what E Luxo So merely hints at through music and it is inevitable that I should fail - silence by its very nature defies explanation. END"
An overlooked gem
Joel Hanson | Seattle, WA United States | 05/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Perhaps the two most important components of creating memorable mood music are the use of restraint and a respect for silence. In other words, it is everything a composer leaves out of a piece and the sufficient spaces created between the remaining instruments and notes that lead to the most compelling soundtracks. Consistent with the above "rules" of composition, Labradford's ambient instrumental music has become more and more effective as it has grown increasingly sparse and minimalist, just like the blurry black and white image that graces the cover of the band's third release, E luxo so. I don't have any idea if Carter Brown and Mark Nelson are still the creative force behind the group; neither their names nor their pictures appear on Mi Media Naranja or the current release. But I don't think it matters if I know; the sparse packaging, abridged liner notes and untitled songs seem intentionally austere in order to direct the listener's attention specifically to the music while nevertheless maintaining an air of mystery regarding its production. Each of the six songs on E luxo so feature a different instrument to evoke divergent and sometimes conflicting moods, but there is something meaningful here for every lost soul patient enough to notice the unique way that sound can alter the significance of images - either on a movie screen or in one's head. E luxo so contains hammered dulcimer, droning, delay-pedaled Morricone-esque guitar, vibraphones and key changes that pay reverent homage to Angelo Badalamenti circa Twin Peaks, simple, spacious piano chords that fall somewhere between the hopeful spirit of Mark Hollis and the bleak emptiness elicited by Gordon Sharp - particularly on the latter half of Cindytalk's In This World - and strings to complement the proceedings. The result is beautiful but ambivalent and tension filled - the ideal sonic catalyst for remembering, or forgetting, all of your mistakes."
Terry O Faulkner | Gyeongju, South Korea | 10/03/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this album as a result of previous reviews I had read. I am new to the "post-rock" genre and from first listen I am impressed. I had recently only delved into Godspeed... and was looking for something a bit like it yet distinguishable on its own. This album can be very sparse at times and at others very dense. Their use of effects at the correct times enhances moods and enables the listener to step outside the usual "aural" boundary.At times, this is reminiscent of Steve Reich and at others similar to Brian Eno. Both of their influences can be heard here. Don't get me wrong, this is no easy listen. Someone who is looking for radio-friendly, melodic-based music will not find what they are looking for. These are soundscapes and should be regarded as such. Then again, you probably would not have wound up here looking for any typical radio-friendly material.It's good to know that musicians can still experiment and make enough to eat. Bravo to Labradford. I look forward to their purchasing their other releases in the near future."