Lake, recorded over a single weekend in 1990, is a varied (and variable) piece of work. Did I say work? This album is the sound of two musical minds at play, from the opening laughter of "Lake part 1" to its peculiar titles and sources (Chairman Mao's little red book provides the lyrics for "Art and Literature"). On this album there are odd little musical experiments, weird songs, bells overdubbed at different speeds and much more. the only misfire is "Chord" (AKA part 3) which, at 19 minutes, carries its single joke ("let's play the same chord until we get fed up") beyond listenability. Aside from that, this album's obvious enthusiasm is rather infectous, and in some ways it's a rather charming opportunity to listen in on Richard and Simon (or R!!! and S!!! as the original LP would have it) making something for pleasure, with no hope that the 300 copies they pressed up would ever sell. But sell it did, somehow, and they went on to make the hard-to-find but just-as-good Kretinmuzak in a similar vein.
Lake, then, is no masterpiece, but is a highly listenable snapshot of friendly creativity at its most playful.
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