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Son Lux - At War with Walls and Mazes (2008)
Anticon Records ABR0082
Original release date - March 11, 2008
Total time - 44:21
1. Prologue 0:29
2. Break 3:11
3. Weapons 5:01
4. Betray 5:05
5. Stay 3:47
6. Raise 5:41
7. Tell 3:51
8. Wither 4:01
9. Stand 5:33
10. War 4:34
11. Epilogue 3:04
All songs written and arranged by Ryan Lott
Written, performed and produced by Ryan Lott
Ryan Lott - piano, drums, vocals, others (I am just guessing--he lists no instruments)
Judson Crane - additional string arrangement on STAY
Matthew DeRubertis - bass on BETRAY and RAISE
Katie Kikel - flutes on BETRAY
Eric Stephenson - Cellos on STAY
Steven Temme - Saxophones on STAY and RAISE
Ripped by me with EAC, directly from the factory-pressed silver CD, using secure mode with accurate stream and no C2.
Compressed with Flac - level 8
File Size - 264 MB
Tracker - http://open.tracker.thepiratebay.org/announce
genre - some sort of rock/hip hop/classical/avantgarde
art - Full included: covers, disc
Review from Freetimes.com:
Son Lux - At War With Walls and Mazes (Anticon)
At War With Walls and Mazes is a seamlessly gliding album that pours forth in placid liquid perfection despite its often-propulsive drumbeats. It\'s a record that features the sort of production that entices and surprises because of its scope and dichotomy. Tracks organically mutate from opera-hall-sized compositions with car-speaker-rattling hip-hop beats to the sort of bare-all dim-lit bedroom intimateness you\'d expect from a band like Xiu Xiu. What makes this all even more amazing is the fact that it is the work of one man, experimental composer Ryan Lott.
Lott pieces together his own delicate instrumentation of scrambled samples, Radiohead-like beats, and unobtrusive vocals with grace and precision. The result is an album that recalls everything from fellow Anticon act Why? to trip-hop pioneers Portishead. But while Lott recalls these artists, he also pushes things further by creating an album that manages to be both massive and intimate. It\'s a surprising achievement that yields fulfilling listens on headphones or speakers. Starting Son Lux was an interesting, and perhaps even dangerous move for Lott, but the result is a superb and multifaceted album. - MW
Review from Pitchfork:
Son Lux\'s debut, At War With Walls & Mazes, resembles the classical concerto. Electronic composer and Son Lux leader Ryan Lott is the soloist, with gentle, sparse vocals, against a backdrop of classical instruments. Occasionally a single organic sound rises behind Lott\'s utterances, like the bass guitar peeling away from the timberline drum creaks and overlapping whispers on \"Raise\". These are rarities; for the lion\'s share of the album\'s 45 minutes the mood is severe. Son Lux perches over a digital wilderness-- a wilderness of recreated crowd noise, cracked samples, and mutated loops. Laid out as a narrative (beginning with \"Prologue\" and tidying up with \"Epilogue\"), with sharp, direct titles (\"Wither\", \"Stand\", \"War\"), Walls & Mazes has a coarseness, a fatalism, between Lott and the landscapes he creates. It\'s a heaviness of heart relieved only when those interceding instruments (cello on \"Stay\", the supple, measured piano on \"Break\") twine with the vocals against the molded chaos.
But there are lights in the darkness and a holy ghost in the Son Lux machine. At War With Walls & Mazes is an album infused with a religiosity that\'s at times humble and unnamed and at times romantic. \"Where have all the holy gone? Is there no one to condemn you? Where have all the wicked gone? Is there no one left to beat you down?\", he asks on \"Break\". The imagery is clear, the sentiment classic, and the delivery hushed and awed. It\'s the sonic background that\'s so affecting. That twist in the combination produces odd troikas of comparison: the lyrical concerns of Sufjan Stevens circa Seven Swans, production techniques from Massive Attack, and the classical habits of Nico Muhly.
And even when Lott is playing for us here on Earth, the album\'s concerns are stained. \"Will you love me Like he loves me?\" Son Lux mews on the clinging, almost uncomfortably sensuous \"Stay\". That \"He\" should probably be capitalized. Later, on \"Betray\": \"You will betray me baby And I will be true.\" (Sucks to be \"You\"). Lott is a performance artist at heart-- he\'s had his multimedia projects featured in the Guggenheim and produces as much music for choreography as he does for just listeners. As an album, Walls & Mazes may have moments of gauzy, near-inert tinkering-- \"Stand\" and \"Tell\"-- and it\'s no doubt an emotionally draining listen, but as a project, as an aesthetic, there\'s a resonant, engaging conflict. A good friend of mine once said there were only three proper subjects for rock songs: God, Girls, and Growing Up. Ryan Lott proves with Walls & Mazes that he\'s got the first one down. How orthodox will the next ones sound?
-Evan McGarvey, March 03, 2008
Video Premiere: Son Lux: \"Break\"
We talked about this excellent song a few weeks ago, and Marc Hogan noted then: \"Son Lux is classically trained composer Ryan Lott, the Anticon label\'s latest step away from hip-hop as it is traditionally understood and toward greater abstraction. \'Break\', the opening track from forthcoming Son Lux debut album At War With Walls and Mazes, applies underground hip-hop\'s collage aesthetic using borrowed beats, backwards instrumental squiggles, and snippets of crowd noise, but mostly it\'s a quavering piano ballad, with the somber complexity of latter-day Radiohead.\" The song\'s intriguing video accentuates this abstraction, with fuzzed-out, high-speed images that sometimes blur into a shapeless rush of color. Finbar Mallon directs.
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