Published Jun 29, 2020Surprise! It's a new Daniel Avery album, and we're talking new. According to Avery himself, the final notes of this record were finished mere weeks ago, and they're already here to soothe, pique and rattle your ear drums.
Love + Light comes hot off the heels of Illusion of Time, Avery's recent collaboration with Nine Inch Nails keyboardist Alessandro Cortini, released in March, which we described as having, "a soft, subtle optimism that recalls the best of early M83." So, here we are so soon with oodles more Avery, and to the delight of some, the chagrin of others, it's lacking in subtle optimism, and any references to M83 can be dutifully shot out of a cannon.
Quite early on, Avery shows he means business on this new record with "Dusting for Smoke," an anxious techno offering that's both deeply reminiscent of early LFO and a smoke alarm at a warehouse rave. Where is the fire, you might ask? Well, it's everywhere — the whole album is an absolute sizzler.
As Avery so deftly pulled off with Song for Alpha in 2018, Love + Light too meanders between tracks that can blow your speakers, and ones that are far better to get lost in through a set of headphones. Only this time, Avery nods to that trait himself, as he notes in the album's press release, "As I started to collect the pieces together, it was apparent that the album would be split into two distinct halves, but halves that were inexorably tied together." On the one hand you have the pounding, percussion-heavy belters, and on the other is a selection of wistful spacewalks that are arguably some of his most beautiful work to date — "Into the Arms of Stillness" and "One More Morning" are particularly special.
Both sides of the coin show all the trappings of a '90s Warp Records release, which we know has been done before, and is certainly nothing new for Avery, but damn if he doesn't do it well.