Review of Lay-by Lullaby [12k1079]

Chain DLK (.COM)

J.G.Ballard’s bounteous literature and visionary creativity have often been a source of inspiration for UK sound artist Janek Schaefer, who after 20 years of acknowledged activity and an impressive number of releases and sound installations for many labels and institutions signed his first release for Taylor Deupree’s label at last. The nocturnal field recordings of “Lay-By Lullaby”, which took place above M3 motorway, whose building and proximity to Ballard’s house as well as to Schaefer’s recording studio heavily influenced proper masterpieces about spiritually noxious effects of so-called progress and technology on human life by this sci-fi novelist. The ready-references of this album are the narrative setting of those novels where car culture and motorways had a meaningful and emblematic role such as “Crash!” and “Concrete Island”, where Ballard splendidly shows sensorial and spatial cracks on some of the most typical badges of modernity by bringing characters out of that idea of chimerical order whose structure rests on pervading conceptions of organization, efficiency and urbanization, acting like addicting drugs on minds and souls. You could imagine Janek Schaefer in the guise of Robert Maitland, whose “accident” reactivates memories, feelings, thoughts and reveries that burst into consciousness over the hypnotical streaming aural code of a motorway where gusts of wind and barreling wheeled cells constantly weave a trapping web. The sonic strategy by which Janek renders such an abstract sequence of “enlightenments”, which sound like unpredictable radio interferences, is simply stunning and deeply emotional and seems toi come from phantasmagorical entities which invite listeners to take a rest, come out of this suffocating stream and lapse into daydreaming in a whisper. “Lay-by Lullaby” is undoubtedly one of the best “environ/mental” ambient release of the year.

View Website View Release