Review of Lay-by Lullaby [12k1079]

Pitchfork (.COM)

There’s a lot of concept behind UK-based sound artist Janek Schaefer’s latest album. It began life as a sculptural installation at a London gallery, playing from a car radio, and some of its sounds come from Schaefer’s field recordings of the M3 motorway. Yet Lay-By Lullaby doesn’t sound conceptual, or even very literal. At times you can hear the sound of cars passing, but they blend cozily into static, ambience, and meditative tones. Often field recording-based music intends to transport you to a tangible place, but to me Lay-by Lullaby feels less like a trip down the road than a retreat into the subconscious, a beguiling mesh of dream sounds and memory echoes from an artist who knows that the most affecting music can also be the most abstract.

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