Selected Studies 1
After releasing 2001’s Plastic Wood, a foray into the worlds of Eno and Cluster and other ambient favourites, Lloyd Cole struck up a friendship with Hans-Joachim Roedelius, the two exchanging correspondence leading, eventually, to this pairing.
You won’t hear anything resembling Rattlesnakes here – neither Cole’s vocals nor guitar are present, instead it’s a set of deep, dark heavy mood pieces (Wandelbar) in and around Boards of Canada/Eno bits (Pastoral). And it’s superb. A beautiful ambient record that glistens (TangoLargo) and lightly sways (Orschel) and HIQS goes back to the Krautrock roots of this experiment, of what was clearly the torchlight for both Cole and Roedelius.
Tantalisingly it’s called Selected Studies 1 – more than suggesting there’ll be at least a volume two and for any Cole fan feeling duped into this and thinking it’s simple number twos there is of course work from Lloyd Cole the singer/songwriter always happening. But the ideas here, the branching out, the embracing of ambient worlds outside of the verse/chorus/verse story-song approach, should appeal to fans, for the most part. There’s certainly a great beauty in this album, the serenity in Virginia L and Lullerby might even suggest a form of massage music, some home-brand day-spa soundtrack. That’s a compliment too, though it might never seem it.
I love this record.