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  Brave the Elements  
  Lost Idol  
Release Date:
Reviewed by:
  Indoor Miner  

Brave The Elements is a predominantly instrumental set from Lost Idol, the recording alias of James Dean, the man behind the Cookshop label. I must confess I didn't hear his 2006 album, Utters From A Cluttered Mind, but this is one is good enough to have me regretting that, reflecting as it does Dean's love for electronica, ambient, Krautrock, and soundscapes. There are no prizes for guessing which of those categories influenced the opening track. However, if I mention it's called Lightwerk (with that all important 'e'), it should give you an idea what it sounds like. And it's a gem.

If you were expecting lots more motorik beats, however, you would be wrong because, after this opening, the Krautrock influence is rarely to be seen. Jah Guidance explores dark electronic territories similar to Akatombo's recent Unconfirmed Reports, whilst Beesmouth features some pretty vocals and has a hint of a My Bloody Valentine loop over an almost baggy beat. In contrast, My Drone Stirs In Summertime is slow and acoustic in a claustrophobic rather than chilled way.

Molten Snow opens with some medieval sounding voices of the variety you used to find on a Gentle Giant album before it veers off into some delicious Dark Captain Light Captain-like world. It's definitely one of the highlights here, as is the rather beautiful Peace For Joseph, which has a similar sense of aching desolation as that Robinson Crusoe TV theme from way back when. Elsewhere, the percussive She Summons Demons builds nicely whilst A Sorrowful Thing is another that brings Dark Captain Light Captain to mind with its hushed voices and acoustics.

The orchestral sounding Slow Slow Stop brings Brave The Elements to its conclusion, drifting by in an almost unnoticed cloud of bliss. A low key ending for sure, but a beautiful one all the same. At the risk of coming on all premature, I can't imagine that I'm going to hear too many better albums than this all year.

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