Monday, 14 January 2013

Review: Android Lust - 'Crater Vol. 1'

'Crater Vol. 1'

The subject of a very successful crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter last year, Android Lust's 'Crater Vol. 1' promises to be a curve ball even by Shikhee's high standards. With Android Lust already well established as a progressively orientated project across critically acclaimed albums such as 'The Dividing' and 'The Human Animal', 'Crater...' presents itself as an opportunity for her to really experiment with the Android Lust sound.

The album has a strong, implied post-apocalyptic narrative, but doesn't often resort to expressing this lyrically. The album is in essence a soundtrack made up, for the most part, of ambient instrumentals that invite the listener to project their story on to the atmospheric music.
The sound of the album mixes the cold, low-fi electronics that Android Lust is well known for, and plays with samples drones and the song structures themselves to essentially turn everything on its head. Songs like 'Vereor', 'First Man', 'Yaakuntik' and 'Precipice' are particularly good examples of this method as they sound somewhat familiar, but at the same time unrecognisably alien as the songs veer off in a completely different direction to where you would expect.
However the likes of 'I Need To Know', 'From The Other Side' and 'Here And Now', the only three tracks which feature Shikhee's trademark vocal style, provide the album with an accessible entrance to those less familiar with her work.
One more aspect that 'Crater...' has, that you don't typically find on ambient-orientated albums, is in its ability to keep some dance floor creditability. The song structures may be more experimental, but there are plenty of moving beats to still give the album an appeal beyond purely meditative solo listening.

If last summer's kickstarter campaign was validation from the Android Lust fanbase that they believe in Shikhee's vision, then that trust has been repaid in full here. Everything from the choice of sounds on the instruments, right through to the final mixing and mastering has been carried out with great attention to detail. And with a title like with "Vol. 1" included, there is yet more to come from this side of Android Lust.

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