I was smitten with Jimmy Lacy’s last SiP album, Leos Naturals, but this collaboration with Pete Prezzano (who did show up on Leos playing melodica) gets into some different, calmer zones. Where Leos careened down a slide of tropical-infused grooves, we’re now living life at a much slower pace at the foot of the waterfall. Everything is saturated in hues of green and blue while levitating arpeggios zigzag through the night, playing connect the dots with a sky full of stars. Eyes closed, I feel whole.
Lacy and Prezzano have a natural collaborative connection, their style and approach fitting together like a glove. Seamless sonics obscure the complexity of these pieces. “Thuringian Forest” bops along in synchronicity, stripped back space dubs and carnival chords twisting neon threads into intricate portraits. Synth leads flicker, little lightning bugs singing catchy melodies at dusk, the rhythm unfolding and cascading in the background. It’s light and gauzy, but that just opens space for the listener to situate their own imagery into the background.
I’m struck by the way these pieces unfold. For instance, opener “Pygmalion” is built on a repeating pattern that’s reserved and whimsical. Once again the soft waves of Lacy’s hypnotic, memorable leads take over, another ingredient in this swirling cauldron accented by the organic ponderous tones of Prezzano’s melodica. Twisting in lackadaisical patterns, it becomes a synchronic ballet, forever memorable before fading into the haze.
SiP’s Jimmy Lacy is a velvet assassin, coaxing featherweight landscapes from colorful, choreographed routines designed to achieve maximal solace. The real trick, though, is to take those repeating sequences, imbue them with Prezzano’s lilting modular exercises or warm melodica drones, to push listeners into finding a new comfort zone. This is music alive in the deep end even if it’s not, at first, obvious. Behind all the catchy frills and harmonies is a place where the torrents are in freefall and if we let go, the void won’t let us disappear.
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