Review Summary: If heaven played music…1 of 1 thought this review was well written
Lights Out Asia has never been a band bent on self-proclamation and high hopes for the chart positions, neither have they been the type to make “hits” or setting trends. This was their style of music, a heavenly flow of harmony, rhythm and perfection, melted down to the core with first-class production skills of unworldly imaginations. Its very hard to find decent post-rock, and like the ambient artists that influenced them, they find originality out of very little ideas on paper. The process of writing a song completely based on orchestral strings and burned out harmonies adds to the marvel that Lights Out Asia has created. Music like this comes with a price. For one, the fame or recognition is stripped to a bare, and your names perhaps forgotten almost as immediate as it is remembered. With all this, listen to Garmonia
with an open mind, and you will find the experience as extraordinary as you’d hoped.
Opening track Knock Knock
mixes ambient sounds with whale moans, a dreamy guitar, mellow drum rhythms and brilliant synth effects, all this including the very short intermissions in between followed by, possibly, the best piano piece you are ever likely to hear. The floating vocal hymn adds a very deep meditation state. I cannot find anything wrong with this song, flawless and perfected in all its glory. Something that will stick in your head for many, many years (if played daily like an over-addictive prescription pill). Another highlight, titled Absence of Oceans
, further demonstrates the impressive ambient guitar work. What may make a catchy hook to a popular Billboards song, it stretches the notes far enough to match a very down-tempo rolling electronic beat. The break eventually happens somewhere after two minutes, when the beat kicks into full ambient swing and you see a pattern start to form in this 5-minute masterpiece. The two standouts aside, there are many options besides ambience that most will find appealing.
, despite its name, is very up-tempo and cheerful, adding a vibrant “party & fire works” mix reminiscent of the album cover, but it’s the ambient texture that truly makes this track worth all 7-and-a-half minutes. If you’re looking for something to impress curious Lights Out Asia listeners, I highly recommend this song as a starter. God Help Us
may be the down-point of the album, but it is by all means a great track, when in the right listening mood, that is. Imagine yourself meeting the most extraordinary woman in your life for the first time. She’s beautiful, extravagant, easy-going, but on the other hand you’re an ugly wannabe, but by beginners luck you hit it off. Care to imagine the type of music that might be playing at this moment?
As to the rest of the album, songs like You’re All On Display
, Chapters of a Red Sky
, and the title trackGarmonia
all share the same basic dreamy ambience theme, with unforgettable guitar pieces, low-pitched singing, sea-above-sky mood swings and life-changing landscape effects. The results are staggering. Lights Out Asia have debuted the first of an on-going saga of albums destined to be classics in the near future. Garmonia
may not have received the attention it deserved in 2005, but with a trilogy of post-rock albums to back it up, it will never fade away.
”Chapters of a Red Sky”
”Absence of Oceans”
”Hail Russia (Live)”