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At War With Walls and Mazes

Son Lux

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Album Review

Classically trained composer and pianist Ryan Lott takes the anticon-approved electronic route on At War with Walls & Mazes, which he performs under the name Son Lux. Combining samples with electronic and live instrumentation, Lott writes sad, lush music that never forgets its sense of composition and melody. The most interesting songs are those in which he plays with the mix, letting his vocals fall under the layers of strings and chopped bleeps — like in the lovely "Stand," which erupts suddenly into female operatic vocals, drum rolls, and lots of piano while the line he'd been singing since the beginning ("You stand between my and all my enemies") fades distantly away. Musically, although his pieces are more successful as background music than actual songs, Lott is certainly talented, and At War with Walls & Mazes is an ambitiously detailed and delicate album, although not entirely unique.

Customer Reviews

Incredibly beautiful, touching music

This album contains the most vivid, sentimental soundscapes that I've heard in long while. The odd mixture of haunting vocals, delicate keys, shimmering textures, and a collage of hip-hop-style drums somehow works, and manages to convey a majestic spectrum of emotion, ranging from hurt and hate to hope. Ryan Lott's classical piano training is evident in places, but it never overpowers the simple lines that repeat throughout the album. Though the album is definitely best listened to as a whole, there are a few standout tracks: "Raise" is my personal favorite, and "Break", "Betray", and "Stay" are amazing, too.

Altogether Different

The songs are surprisingly accessible for their musical complexity. The album is free of pretension and filled with a somber hope. Son Lux is the brightest thing to come down the music pipe in recent years. To be blunt, it would do you good to buy his music. Go for the whole album; it tells a story, and the songs are woven wonderfully.

Completely impressed

In a sea of freak folk, electro, indie pop, and things trying to sound like yesteryear, Son Lux delivers something with depth, weight and lasting power. Instantly likeable but complex enough to serve more than a few rotations. Compared to other music that mixes shaky-voiced ambiguous atmospheres, heavy electronics, and catchy hooks with classical influence (Xiu Xiu come to mind), the glossy production aesthetic might detract from the overall impact a trace ('Raise' is almost on the NIN tip for a second), but coming across this was definitely a treat. I just threw $9.99 on the WaMu check card, and I haven't done that in a while... Cheers, and big ups to Anticon for consistently pushing the limits of their initial stable/style.

Biography

Born: 1979 in Denver, CO

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Son Lux is a post-rock project helmed by Ryan Lott with releases on Anticon and Joyful Noise. The youngest of three children, Lott spent much of his childhood moving from place to place. Born in Colorado in 1979, he lived in California and Connecticut before landing in Atlanta for high school. He had been playing classical piano since age six; he also played the guitar, and in Georgia he picked up the drums and began learning pop and jazz piano as well. While studying composition and piano at Indiana...
Full Bio
At War With Walls and Mazes, Son Lux
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