DANIEL AVERY - Love + Light 2020 | ALBUM REVIEW
Label: Phantasy Sound
By Derek Howie
Apart from the obvious, 2020 had several brighter moments within my sphere of music. Waking up on one Friday morning in late June to discover that one of my favourite artists, Daniel Avery, had surprised us all with the release of his unannounced 3rd long-player entitled ‘Love + Light’ across the Streaming platforms.
As with many other releases during the ongoing pandemic, the distance been the metaphysical release and receiving a physical copy was vacuous, with delay upon postponement, upon reschedules abound. This had a knock-on effect in compiling a review as everyone can imagine; As of November 27th, I am now in possession of the LP. Although I had received the WAV files to Download as part of the Vinyl pre-order purchase, the mixture of 14-Ambient and Techno tracks was repeatedly blasted through my system, here at Audioidua H.Q. to joy and intrigue. Unbeknown to me the Vinyl would have 3 songs omitted from the Digital track-listing, due to the constraints of how much music you can fit on a single-disc. Would this change the feel of the Record?
Everything about this album has been purposefully refined! From the subtle embossing of the album title across the sleeve, upon (I think) the image of Daniel himself and the Vinyl being an opaque Milky Clear colour. The opening track ‘London Island’ is a heady, beatless affair that mesmerises and shimmers, drawing me in before unleashing the first official Single ‘Dust For Smoke’. A monotonous and relenting 4/4 banger that carries over a heavy utilisation of string-sounds that captivates and forces me to pump the air with every drumbeat. I can catch my breath for just over a minute with ‘Depth Wish’, a seemingly electrified, haunting, hollow Digeridoo-based track that pauses the procession briefly, before the Acid-rich ‘Searing Light, Forward Motion’ takes full control of my mind and body. The laidback nature of ‘Infinite Future’, with its calming Drum & Bass elements is a welcome reminder to own past eras, but as the track name implies, the fluidity to cross genres that has always been present in Electronic music. The breathy, Shoegaze-vocal that accompanies the latter section of this track, adds yet another layer and beautifully closes off the first half of ‘Love + Light’.
‘After The Fire’ initiates the flipside and mirrors the beatless beginning of the album, but there is a more alarming feel here. That sense quickly subsides with ‘Into The Arms Of Stillness’, a melancholic piece that soothes and quells; I simply adore this one! The plaintiveness continues on ‘Fuzzwar’, a simple and effective track that skips along without going too far. While ‘Pure Life’ drifts in, barely registering, just teetering on the edge of a consciousness, then it is gone; simply serene! The instances of tranquillity progress and evolve on ‘A Story in E5’, an emotional builder that is pinned to an unsophisticated rhythmic section. Electronic music is synonymous with late nights, so ending this album with ‘One More Morning’ is such an apt title. The singular, heavy bass note that punches throughout and sounds close but also aloof, there is enough going on upfront that seems to distract from the evident thunderous echo that booms in every 8th bar, before finishing on what appears to be somewhere between a live crowd and/or birdsong; now that was clever!
This truncated version of ‘Love + Light’ certainly has a mellower feel to but is still one of the best albums of my 2020. Incidentally for completists and vinyl-fetishists like myself, the 3-omitted tracks will feature on a special standalone 10” called ‘More Light’ to be released on January 22nd. ‘Love + Light’ and his other works are available on from
Derek is from Aberdeen in North-East Scotland. Music has been with Derek, and has helped in every facet of his life, creating some exceptionally good times and providing an escape during some very bad times! It has also seen him try make it professionally as a musician and a former D.J. Now it’s just purely pleasuring as an avid music collector and a blogger on a new venture, Audioidua.