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LFO Sheath (2003 UK 11-track CD the third album by the band & the first since 1996s Advance with Mark Bell probably being kept busy working as producer on Bjorks Homogenic & Depeche Modes Exiter albums. This all instrumental CD also features the hit single Freak picture sleeve WARPCD110)
LFOs Frequencies is a legendary album. Capturing the raw energy, gleeful hedonism and general gnashing foment of the acid-house scene with exquisite perfection, Gez Varley and Mark Bell commandeered the escapist bleeps and bass of Generation Rave into an indelibleaccount that still sounds as potent today as it did a decade ago.
The trouble with creating a truly seminal album, however, is that the fiercer its luminosity, the darker the shadow cast upon future endeavours since everything becomes comparable.
LFOhave not escaped the curse. 1996s Advance didn't come close to the heady standards of their debut, although in fairness it probably never could. It was a good album but the inevitable problem was that it sounded too self-conscious,lacking the impulsive joie-de-vivre of its predecessor.
The good news is that they haven't given up. Or rather Mark hasn't (Gez left a while ago) and has managed to cook up a third LFO outing in between producing LP's for Bjork and Depeche Mode.
Further good news is that the album manages to re-capture some of the original pioneering spirit that made Frequencies such a tour-de-force.
The first single from the album "Freak" is a perfect illustration of the record's effective nostalgia. An uncompromisingtechno-fied floor-slayer it recalls the big room chaos of yesteryear and comes infused with that bleepaliciousLFO energy.
The rest of the LP takes us further back into the roots of LFO, mapping out their original influences in a neatly sutured if slightly schizophonic format.Detroit techno ("Mum-man"), acid ("Snot"), ambient ("Blown"), electroare all thrown into the mix, veering indulgently from soporific bubblebaths to bellicose cacophonies, pastoral meanders to agressive post-rave posturing often in the space of a few digital pulses.
The eschewal of vocals, the rinky-dink sounds, the seemingly capricious construction create an atmosphere that's hard to ignore in an era of polished selections.
It isn't Frequencies Part 2 but it is a kind of kindred album, sharing the spirit of yesteryear with a modern audience and glorying in its own artistic freedom. It would seem the past has a future after all. --Paul Sullivan
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Top Customer Reviews
Currently, the big track everyone is talking about is Freak. Harkening back to the old acid house days with gritty old skool drums, robotic voice chanting 'THIS IS GOING TO MAKE YOU FREAK' and one very very large bassline. Cracking. You get some moments on Sheath that take a very nice experimental electronic route as you'd expect with Warp, like the icy chilled opener Blown, the continuous double bass loop of Sleepy Chicken, the ambience of 'Premacy. You also get much harder edged tracks, like the furious aggressive synths of Mum-man, frantic beats and old skool style synths of Mummy, I've Had An Accident..., and the thrashy Snot.
You get alot of styles for you money here, you should know what to expect from a Warp record too. Sometimes watery and soothing, sometimes harsh and aggressive, if you like your Warp Records stuff, you'll find this a worth purchase.
303 acid, deep bass lines - my only disappointment is when the tracks start off with some nice
dirty sounds then never explore these sounds again. Its kind of ironic that this album sounds old skool
to someone in there early 30's (i.e. me) and classic, yet if you where in your early 20's it would sound modern.
After all there are many initiators but they are back...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this on the strength of the song "Freak" after buying octobers mixmag (it was on the cd) and i am very happy with my purchase. Read morePublished on 3 Dec. 2003 by sam
Don't worry about the limited edition, it's just in a standard CD case without a insert (cover).
Also, I have to disagree with the review of the limited edition which hails... Read more