Light Conductor, the collaboration between longtime friends, Jace Lasek (The Besnard Lakes) and Stephen Ramsay (Young Galaxy) return with their sophomore release, Sequence Two.
Featuring earlier this year as a part of Constellation Records’ weekly Corona Borealis Longplay Series with the single Triggering the Radio Storms, the track gave us some insight into where Lasek and Ramsay were set to take this project.
While Sequence One (2019) felt like Light Conductor were, to some extent, deliberating over the aesthetics of this project, the same can’t be said for Sequence Two, which operates in a completely different orbit. Not only does Sequence Two surpass its predecessor, but most other 2021 releases in this space, too.
Sequence Two is full of intense, psychedelic colours that are bottled up and launched at the wall. The end result is a wildly stunning mural, resembling something with true vision and vibrancy. Furthermore, Light Conductor provide the kind of compositions that impart optimism. Thematically, whilst probably not intentional on their part, it instils the same kind of emotions of The Besnard Lakes’ …Are the Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings.
Light Conductor first grab our imagination with Splitting Light. With motorik bleeps, urgent drones and thrumming guitars, Lasek and Ramsay mix song-based traditions with sound design, as Lasek’s towering falsetto rises above the soundscapes like a phoenix from the ashes. Whilst his voice remains distinct, there’s still a fascinating contrast between the music Light Conductor and The Besnard Lakes produce.
With carefully sculptured sounds that offer the same sharp reflections that Fly Pan blinded us with earlier in the year, The Rooms Are Turning Inside Out bursts with an emotional intensity that sends shivers down the spine. With stunning, cinematic soundscapes that glisten like the sun off the ocean, it’s one of the most exquisite pieces of music captured within the confines of a studio this year.
Pyramids in Slow Rotation gives us several minutes to restore some composure. A space-inspired synth-based composition, Pyramids in Slow Rotation whirrs with the dynamic drone and ambience that Kranky touchstone artists have made their own over the past three decades.
The brilliantly titled Life Under a Double Sun finishes Sequence Two emphatically. Again, a synth-based piece that provides the same hymnal qualities a church organist could conjure up and, indeed, bring a house down via a torrent of tears.
Welding together elastic, psychadelic splendour with radical colours that pulsate and sparkle, Sequence Two may touch on the past, but the difference here is that Light Conductor push and break the boundaries of every style and genre they explore. Parody this is not. This is a brave and original interpretation of sound design.
There will always be releases that fly out of left field and with Sequence Two, Light Conductor have provided just that. Don’t sleep on this. Life’s too short.
Sequence Two is out now via Constellation. Purchase from Bandcamp.