Published Nov 05, 2019With the release of Lapalux's fourth LP, it goes without saying that after eight years of output, Stuart Howard's sound has become as varied and unpredictable as it is familiar.
While his last full-length, Ruinism, spun a massive departure from its predecessor, Lustmore, moving from a plush, rich cushion of sound to dissonant industrial, Amnioverse strikes a chord that often falls between the two.
On this album, each track is based around a vocal snippet from friends, lovers and ex-partners, the music built around it. Taking inspiration from a photo from the Twilight Epiphany Skyscape installation by James Turrell, Howard comments that the act of waiting — to be somewhere or go somewhere — is what he tried to encapsulate on Amnioverse. With that in mind, his use of spoken word across the album, from past and present intimacies, seems especially poignant in this context.
Amnioverse does still err, at times, on the side of industrial and abstraction, but is anchored in a softness rich in texture and weighty with emotion. The best examples of this appear on "Voltaic Acid" and "Momentine," both cocooned in an airy softness that pushes forward into ragged beats, shaking low ends and synths that often lean toward distress. In the end, though, it's an album that holds space and drifts in ethereal emotion. (Brainfeeder)