It was back in 2004 when I first heard the work of Joe Scerri AKA Lake Lustre. Although it encompassed a wide variety of styles, ‘Indecipherabilia’ was essentially a superior chill-out record. With twice as many tracks, ‘Mountain Math’ is the follow-up, which presumably has given Scerri even more licence to experiment.
Much of ‘Mountain Math’ is as inventive as his debut. For instance, ‘Ghosts As Guests’ brings in African influences but it is the guest appearances which are most memorable. Thanks to its sensitive vocals and delicate but modern electronica, ‘Shoplifter’ calls to mind the romantic pop of Junior Boys, ‘Good Day’s Damage’ is a nice slice of fragrant soul whilst ‘(I Am An) Inland Sea’ indicates why David Sylvian is listed as one of Scerri’s MySpace friends.
Yet as you’d expect for a largely instrumental record, over seventy minutes of fairly subtle music is way too much for a single sitting. So after the psychedelic vs beats concoction ‘Eyelid Flytrap’, the album falls into a sleep-inducing second half, salvaged only partially by the filmic, mysterious ‘Brick Beauty Drive’.
If Scerri had kept ‘Mountain Math’ to the same as its predecessor, he would have a very good album on his hands. As it is, it recalls the times in the mid-1990’s when every trip-hop/chill-out album had to be at least an hour long.
Lake Lustre MySpace
Röyksopp, Mr. Meeble