what would motivate a drone/ambient label like kranky to put out a good ol’ rock record? not many reasons, i’d reckon, but when you get around to listening to their latest release, the question quickly becomes more of why not? lux by disappears sounds nothing like what the label has done before (stars of the lid this surely ain’t), so much so that they felt the need, almost apologetically, to provide an account of their actions: “it still fits in with the kranky aesthetic, because at the core it is minimalist head music“, their website reads.
but lux sounds so darn badass, so cocky in claiming its place among post-punk forebears like the velvet underground, the stooges and suicide, that you know kranky just couldn’t say no. and in a way, they are right – the unrepentantly primitive but stubbornly focused rhythm section forms the core of their music by pounding away with the clinically entrancing effect of a minimal techno track. at the same time, as the blistering album opener “gone completely” would show, it’s everything else that they manage to squeeze in – the drone, the reverb, their inner demons, their outer punk – that makes this record such an engaging listen. – dan.
lux is out now on kranky.