Robin Legge aka Lamplighter has been around for a couple of years now but had finally got his shit together and produced an album called "All Is Vanity". Having seen Lamplighter mix it up live a few times I was expecting something pretty good. Released on Glasgows Antimatter, its actually not pretty good is really good!
Its hard to find something to compare it to, stating on his myspace "Lamplighter is based in Edinburgh and makes some kind of hip hop" just doesn't do it justice. When I got the download and walked around Aberdeen I had a very strange feeling come over me, its that feeling where all your senses are stimulated, sight & sound especially and everything in front of you makes some sense for the first time. The gray streets of Aberdeen have only made sense to me twice while listening to music, the first time was when I discovered Joy Division and the second was when I discovered Lamplighter! Hailing from Aberdeen parts I guess there's some of that grayness lingering in Robin.
That's not to say its depressing or sad, mixing hip hops beats, samples and some beautifull string arrangements, Lamplighter has managed to construct an album that is full of depth. Made up from 9 instrumental tracks, each one has its own feel and takes the listener on a different journey. My first thought's when I heard it were "if Jack the Ripper had an i pod, he'd listen to Lamplighter"! Sometime's you need to explore the darker side of life and this album is the perfect partner with its heavy synth & beats mashing up against classical violin & cello!
The cover above was designed by Dutch graphic designers Graphic Surgery, a great piece of design to complete the release. I think what I like most about this album is the fact despite being a local lad Lamplighter has managed to create something truelly special that deserves to be heard across the globe and not just with in our wee Scottish borders.
Were planning to get him up in August for one of our DO IT! nights so read on to see what you can expect from the Lamplighter!
Heading to Glasgow for a gig still holds a certain amount of excitement even after many trips up & down the road over the years. First up on the bill was none other than noise heavyweight NOMA! Another Aberdeen in absentia, NOMA has been pioneering the use of hair related tools to make music. NOMA used to be a regular at the belmont cinema bar back in the day and has managed to keep pushing what he does, dispossing of his delay pedal his drones are a full on audio assault but he manages to bring some order to his chaos. Also a very interesting way to start the Lamplighter album launch party!
Next on the bill was Cheer. I'd heard interesting tales of wild animations but had no idea what the music would be like. Using acoustic guitar and a sampler pedal Cheer builds up his songs with precision, creating these beautifull soundscapes reminicent of Rice Boy Sleeps, delicate but powerfull at the same time. A tape loop was used to great effect and Cheer can finger pick with the best of them! I bought a copy of his Festive CD and its well worth the £4 I paid. Check him out HERE!
Last up was the Lamplighter himself! But not by himself as he'd brought the lovely Lila Matsumoto for some viola help. Lamplighter himself uses a turntable, 4 channel mixer with chaos pad and a sampler I think so its a pretty hands on performance. Having been a dj in a past life hes aquired the skills to scratch and its quite something to behold! His hands jump over his machines yet the sound is warm and full of life, the electric viola only adding to the effect. Electronic music shouldn't just be about sitting in your room with a laptop and Lamplighter showed everyone how it should be done!
Were going to be working on getting some top visuals together for the August gig to accompany Lamplighters music, try and recreate that feeling I got while listening to the album walking around Aberdeen. All I can say is check out his album and roll on August!