In tune with the Legowelt reissue and a month generally speaking that revelled in repressing the treasures of the relatively recent past (I’m thinking of the Tropic of Cancer archive 12” on BEB, for example), Phonica’s Alex Egan launched his new label Utter this month with a Jam City oddity from 2010. Conceived as a soundtrack to multimedia artist Daniel Swan’s dystopian, retro-futurist short film Lux Laze and presented on wax for the first time, this record is probably the most intense quarter of an hour committed to vinyl in 2015.
Lux Laze sounds like an expertly executed love letter to the science-fiction soundtrack, yet it manages to never fall into the purely derivative and stays firmly contemporary. Latham thoughtfully sifts through a classic sonic palette – frozen rhythms, distant chimes, glacial drones, metallic shivers – and crafts a dystopia for our era, in which a restrained, cold pulse gathers a whole series of nightmares. Listen loud and you’ll feel the swoosh of a jet engine circling overhead, distorted metal clangs turning into laser beams, notes twisting onto themselves like digital horns in the night, awash in fluttery electronics. Fifteen minutes of neo-sci-fi given to a man interested in the everyday effects of late capitalism: fifteen minutes where dream meets nightmare, seamlessly.