Lambent: Smoothness Extract (Deep Night at Ishigaki)
Project Mooncircle

A new collection of smooth head-nodders from Lambent on Project Mooncircle, of late a fail-safe label also home to Glen Porter's Falling Down and CYNE's Starship Utopia. It's actually the third Lambent full-length from Akira Inagawa, who now calls Berlin home but hails originally from Japan. The story goes that Project Mooncircle, presented with Lambent's tracks, fell in love with those of the softer and smoother persuasion, which in turn prompted him to compile seventeen samplings of that kind for the release. The album title reference to the small Japanese island Ishigaki reflects Inagawa's idea that the album can be experienced as a soundtrack to a summer-time night trip around the verdant island (of all the tracks, the lush colour field of “Dazzle” most strongly evokes the restful ambiance intimated by the album title).

Tracks are laid-back and lounge-styled (“Wish”), and there's no shortage of bleep-hop (“May Well Be the One After”) and lurching hip-hop (“Wow Wow Thing”). Harp swirls lend “Night Woose” an arresting allure, and with crackly bossa nova smatterings added to its bleepy hip-hop, “Norm” could pass for a Daedelus jam. “Just,” with its sliced-up soul vocals, is particularly Dilla-like, while “Resemblance” splices voices, bass spatter, and beat stutter into the kind of faded click-hop we can never get enough of. Smoothness Extract (Deep Night at Ishigaki) stitches fifty-one minutes of dusty vinyl samples, soul vocal fragments, and bleepy boom-bap into three-minute instrumental hip-hop patchworks—what's not to love?

December 2009