Reviews

Luke Abbott
Translate

(Border Community)

8/10

It’s been six years since Luke Abbott’s last solo release: the weird and wonderful Wysing Forest, a project which showed the Norwich-based experimental musician and composer at his most abstract. Having spent the best part of the past decade focusing on collaborative work, be it soundtracks (for 2014’s The Goob and Jessica Hynes’ project The Flight), or as part of the electronic jazz group Szun Waves (along with Portico Quartet’s Jack Wyllie and Australian drummer Laurence Pike), Translate sees Abbott on his own again.

Recorded after a turbulent period in the artist’s personal life, he has described the process of making it as “like a psychedelic process of realigning your mind with the world.” It makes sense then, that Translate should feel both introspective, and cosmic – a delve inside the musician’s mind but at the same time an exploration of what lies far beyond. Abbott’s aptitude for constructing grand, cinematic soundscapes means parts of the record – ‘Luna’ and ‘Earthship’ in particular – feel like a sci-fi score, but the emotion at the crux of the project brings it back down to earth. 

Like Holkham Drones, the masterful 2011 album which garnered Abbott global recognition, Translate is meditative, vital, and expertly crafted electronic music.

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