Released by Scottish record label Last Night From Glasgow on glorious pink vinyl, this debut recording by L-space is a synthesised chillout salmagundi which needn’t be devoured in one sitting but enjoyed any place, any time.
An electronic flatline begins opener Home Sweet Home, gradually dispelled by soaring high-note keys and vocals reminiscent of early Grimes. Frontwoman Lily Higham’s elevating vocal composition rhythmically wings itself over the bass grooves and transcendental keys, stirring kaleidoscopic mirages for the listener to enjoy.
Single Backup Baby is a dystopian, quixotic observation of consumerism. Reverberating organs conjure another dreampop classic, broken only by jagged electronics which edge into the track. Third song Aloe reboots Greek mythology in its lyrics and interestingly, its harsher, distorted sound continually affected my dog. Mogwai would be proud. Peekaboo bass, like the theme from Twin Peaks runs alongside layered synthesisers prior to the least electronic song on the album, Float Through Wires, a piano-led ballad filled with sombre harmonies and an engaging melody. It’s a proper earworm which adopts electronica’s repetitiveness – without the electronics.
It becomes clear that L-space have ripped up the rulebook and are now beginning to make headway into unexplored territory. Childlike, building site noises well up beneath distorted vocals on And Sheep which applies band oracle Gordon Johnstone’s complex discord. On the second half the lyrics drop out in favour of an electric sound wave, like a neon light illuminating some new cult’s place of worship. All this precedes the first single release, Suneaters, an alluring, warm soundscape.
Trance sounds and Dickson Telfer’s crafted, horror-film bassline lead the high energy Space Junk. This is arguably the most danceable song on the album, using synthesised vocals and claustrophobic lyrics to carry the band’s message about space travel. The album then drifts into subtle keys and drum samples akin to Groove Armada’s At The River for Blue Flowers, and then slopes into the electronic pinball, jack-in the-box delivery of Glitch and the stripped, retro-future conclusion Annihilation.
Take your time with this one. Meaningful lyrics and bold sounds make Kipple Arcadia a record to be treasured.