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936

3.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (21 Feb. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Not Not Fun
  • ASIN: B004OYDML2
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 443,215 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

CD Description

Sometimes it feels so simple: two of our favorite people in one of our favorite bands release one of our favorite records of all time. 2009 s Imaginary Falcons was its own genius slushpile of tape-hissy drift-dub haze anthems, no question, but 936 takes every facet of the Peaking Lights mighty diamond and shines it to fluorescent perfection. The songwriting is insane; All The Sun That Shines, Amazing & Wonderful, Tiger Eyes (Laid Back), etc, all seep into yr mindstream and float there like melodic gold dust. Indra Dunis silky soul-jazz keys and tranced vocals have never sounded so exquisite, and Aaron Coyes busts out the best bass/drum loops and sneaky dub guitar of his musical lifetime. Recorded by Luke Tweedy at Flat Black Studios in Iowa City (where both the NNF Wet Hair LPs were tracked) and mastered in Berlin, 936 retains the cool crate-digger grit of their earlier highlights, but within a much more vivid spectrum of sound. Could not be more jazzed and honored to unveil this total groove-wave classic.

BBC Review

Smorgasbord albums can be trying listens, attempts to mesh a mishmash frequently resulting in missteps undermining what might’ve otherwise been a solid and satisfying collection. Ambition is to be encouraged, sure; but when acts think of themselves too highly, assuming that if they can nail rudimentary indie-rock riffs then a little electro aside segueing into some half-arsed mimicking of something avant-garde is fair game too, end products are rarely worth the polycarbonate plastic they’re presented on.

Peaking Lights, a husband-and-wife duo from America’s west coast, take the right approach to incorporating myriad influences into a streamlined soundworld: use only what you need, not what you can just because it’s there. So echoes of dub, twitches of house, the lo-fi sigh of chillwave and the rough-edged charm of bedroom-born indie swirl about a psychedelic centre that roots everything in solid foundations. From here tangents sprout; but never do the pair lose sight of a key motif, something to lock onto and embrace the attention. Tiger Eyes (Laid Back) recalls the half-asleep beats of Screamadelica, placing a percussive backbone behind airy vocals from Indra Dunis. As its suffix suggests, Birds of Paradise Dub Version presents similar reverberations, low-end rumbles stretched into enveloping waves of rippling warmth. Throughout, delicate and sparse guitar work navigates the track towards The xx as reimagined by King Midas Sound: surely a sound worth experiencing by the many.

But mainstream-friendly isn’t really a description that can be affixed to this eight-tracker, its makers’ first to be released outside of the US. While 936 takes cues from acts who’ve breached commercial territories, there’s a singular craft to the stitching together of constituents here – crossover is relatively unlikely as Peaking Lights adhere to no particular scene. Fans of Warpaint will enjoy the fuggy atmosphere that hangs heavy over Dunis’ vocals; rhythmical repetition will strike a nod-along chord with Krautrockers of the world; the sunshine-kissed shimmer of opening instrumental Synthy is comparable to the rainbow electronica of Boxcutter; and All the Sun That Shines is a different-accented cousin of the continental tropicalia of El Guincho, slower but certainly with sand in its socks as it shimmies along its way.

936 is a delight, a ray of welcomed sunshine as the wintry outside fades into shades of grey. One feels the band’s next album, expected in early 2012, may take them into sharper focus for those who might not commit the necessary time to this less-immediate material. One hopes that they can turn this wonderful stuff into a (relatively) commercially viable concern without compromising its delicious looseness, or its simple but addictive grooves.

--Mike Diver

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--This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Really great albums always have a very distinct atmosphere - you put them on and they draw you into their sonic world until you are released at the end of the last track. Peaking Lights' blissful '936' does exactly that, submerging you in its lazy, sexy, intoxicated world for around 50 minutes before sliding you out into bed or wherever you feel like going next.

The record has a sort of jacuzzi drug party feel about it. The opening track 'Synthy' is a relaxing hypnotic swirl, easing you in and passing you a beaker of special punch. Second track 'All The Sun That Shines' turns on the bubbles with its dubby percussion and loping bassline, also introducing a naive, druggy vocal style which floats above the warm water of synth at various points throughout the record. The vocal comes in male and female forms, both reverby and simple and completely apt for the music.

As the album progresses the listener only sinks deeper into a mesmerised childish state of joy. A particular euphoric highlight is 'Tiger Eyes (Laid Back)', which has probably the strongest groove on 936, and a great chiming sound as well. Closer 'Summertime' gives your ears and brain a final swirl by layering a syncopated churning below the surface. This intensifies the whole blend of Peaking Lights' sound and provides a great mood to end on.

Thoroughly recommended for anyone who likes dub, psych, kraut, synth, music, drugs, music and drugs, jacuzzis, or lying in bed until the afternoon. Apparently they are working on a follow up which is a night time counterpart to this record. I expect great things.
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Format: Audio CD
I mostly write reviews for 60s/70s psychedelic and progressive rock, but seeing as incredibly there are only four reviews of this album (I was expecting to find a few dozen), I thought I should throw in another opinion. This album has a lot in common with classic experimental psych of the late 60s - echoey, spacey vocals singing haunting melodies over interesting analogue-sounding sound effects, which again recall those 60s/70s devices you don't get today. But they take things a step further by adding powerful dub basslines and more modern rhythms. I don't know from what musical direction most other fans of this band are coming, but I would think that anyone who likes psych, progressive or experimental rock would find a lot to like here.
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Format: Audio CD
I've tried to enjoy this but it's just dull compared to their second album.

I guess if you like all this 'one riff repetitive indie' like Moon Duo this will be right up your street.
The thing is if it's not a good riff, playing it for ten minutes doesn't make it a good riff. It's just boring.
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Format: Audio CD
A partially valid, and certainly muscially adventurous, outing that would be very much better without the repetitive, toneless and very annoying female vocals. This is particularly evident on "All the sun that shines", on which the vocal consists principally of the title repeated ad nauseum on two notes for much of its 7 minute running time. It's a shame because the lo-fi dub sounds backing the vocals are not bad at all. Opening track "Synthy" is an instrumental and much the better for it - then along come the vocals on the next two tracks and I end up wishing she would just SHUT UP!.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
EXCELLENT CD ! WOW ! REALLY A LOT GOING ON...JUST WHAT MODERN MUSIC SHOULD SOUND LIKE.A TRULY BRILLIANT AND ORIGINAL ALBUM. BUY AND ENJOY IT NOW !
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