[sic] Magazine

d_rradio and Lianne Hall – Making Spaces

d r is for death row. Not Doctor Radio, not Democratic Republic of Radio but death row radio. Great station this, a notch above Chris Evans. This time the d rradio boys are joined by the sassy, Brighton based folk singer, Lianne Hall . Personally I thought it was a great idea of the IDM duo to augment their sound with vocals. Not only vocals but a singer of great repute. Hall is something of a festival legend and her voice is pretty special. I’d pitch her somewhere between Hope Sandoval’s siren drawl and Anna-Lynne Williams etherworldly embrace. I feel clumsy doing so because Lianne Hall really is exceptional. “One of the great English voices” according to Peel and the man had it spot on again. Such a wonderful way with vowel sounds, Hall deserves special mention in her own right.

So to the album and before we discuss how the marriage of vocals and music might go it’s first worth noting that the whole matter depends on which d rradio shows up. I called them IDM but the last album Leaves was such a serene exercise in ambience it makes John Cage seem noisy by comparison. Before that, they’d been beat-crazed remix kings. The contrast could not be more striking. Making Spaces instead is a kind of jazz-infused trip hop. Trip Jazz then. Whatever. It’s also very good.

Baring in mind d rradio’s previous release was a two-hour, two disc marathon, Making Spaces is refreshingly punctual at 30 minutes with plenty of variety on display. ‘Full On’ is an acoustic busk, ‘Under Water’ is a jaunty stylistic hybrid, while the likes of ‘Stormy Weather’ and ‘Berlin Winter’ accentuate the jazz aspect. Special mention has to go to the impishly delicious ‘Up’. ‘Up’ has Peggy Lee guesting on a Boards Of Canada track, remixed by Lemon Jelly . …or something. I need more coffee. Scratch that, I just need to play ‘Up’ again.

More please.

death row radio

Lianne Hall