[sic] Magazine

Lights And Motion – Reanimation

Christoffer Franzen , is a Swede and his Lights And Motion serve up flat-pack post-rock. IKEA instruction manuals must have improved out of sight since my day allowing Reanimation to take familiar instrumental set pieces and re-assemble with precision. Tab A goes into Slot A and very soon we have a composite record that really works. I love the fact that this is titled “Reanimation”. The last ten years or so have been largely sedentary for the world of post-rock and instrumental music. Lights And Motion breathe new life where other acts have been fanning the embers. In many ways Reanimation is a retread of a well-worn post-rock path, but Lights And Motion step here with such skill and agility that nothing suffers. Integrity is maintained and Reanimation hits us like a montage of post-rock, instrumental, electronica highlights from the past decade.

Post-rock long players often give us moments of excellence but fail as an overall entity due to repetition and the lack of vocal presence. Franzen has varied his album deftly. Something like ‘Drift’ –approaches the cinematic electronica of, say, M83 before pulling back into post rock guitar drama. There is an awful lot going for this record. The mix is superb for starters. The soundscape is filled, but the instruments have room to breathe. It is neither cloudy nor overly spacious. The tracks have real lifecycles of their own, lifecycles that make sense, I suspect due to the skill of the rhythms here. Beats, whether programmed or performed, need to engage, otherwise it soon gets dull. Well not here. If I have one misgiving it has to be this – that the record is too unswervingly uplifting. I was impressed from start to finish but never fully engaged or moved emotionally. I suspect this has to do with the absence of melancholy, in favour of euphoria. This record is loaded with optimism and as a result becomes its own fanfare.

Every track merits its place here except the closing ‘Dream Away’ which, every time I play Reanimation without fail, makes me think that we’ve passed the ending and somebody else’s record has started up. ‘Dream Away is a pastoral strum-along ….with vocals. Yes, vocals. Franzen coes away, at his best when he really lets go, but it doesn’t belong, not here, not now.

It matters not; Reanimation does for the post-rock legacy what Interpol did for post- punk – retreads and revitalises, becoming a classic in its own right.

Lights And Motion at Deep Elm