Peaking Lights - Lucifer
Husband-wife duo Aaron Coyes and Indra Dunis, aka Peaking Lights, return with the follow up to 2010's widely lauded summertime dub creation 936 with the impressive Lucifer, a record which should see them simultaneously dodge any clumsy comments about a difficult second album (not least because it's not really their second album) and become the favourite couple of many a hipster.
Less a reference to theology and more to astrology, Lucifer refers to the morning star and the first sign of daylight. As a result there isn't a sinister note in sight as the album soundtracks one complete cycle of darkness from 'Moonrise' to 'Morning Star', playing like an underground pirate radio station broadcasting to a seemingly nocturnal and definitely very fashionable counter-culture. Perhaps this is appropriate too given the mixes made available at Lucifer.fm in advance of the release, and Aaron's hobby of crate digging in record shops. By the sounds of it he's come across some pretty diverse 45s as the duo place an even more eclectic mix of genres on the chopping board, pounding dub, reggae, lounge and funk in to a sweet tasting, groovy pulp.
'Beautiful Son' builds layer upon layer of mellifluous melody and in the best possible way, sounds as though it could literally go on forever, a quality that persists throughout the album. The songs are never predictable though, developing and meandering seamlessly through varied tropical rhythms, spurred on by Indra's sleepy repetitive chants. 'Live Love' for example hints at afrobeat with the rhythmically pulsing percussion, while the textured synth lines, marching bass and reverb laden vocals push the song to saturation point. Lead single 'Lo-Hi' is, for want of a better word a high point, beginning like a Studio One classic but developing with the use of ambient pipe sounds and the cries of one year old son Mikko (the newest addition to the band) to be transformed into what sounds like a new age relaxation tape encouraging childhood regression. There is just so much going on here that the shorter radio version does not do it justice. Similarly the more up tempo 'Dreambeat' with its lysergic vocals injects wave after wave of sound, encouraging party goers to push on through till dawn before subsiding with the collective exhale of 'Morning Star' bringing the album to a close and offering praise to the approaching daylight.
Much less guitar based than 936, Peaking Lights have succeeded in crafting a blissfully cohesive album, teeming with sounds that only bubble to the surface on subsequent listens. Capturing beats and rhythms the world over, the duo have managed to channel a colossal amount of styles and influences into something unmistakably theirs. Their best effort yet.