Volume 2, Issue 7, August 1993
Review by Eamonn Crudden
ALBUMS: TITUS AND JUNO IN THE SUBURBS / TRAINS IN CHINA / UNRELEASED ‘TMWCTTM’ DEMO TRACK / ANAM DEMO
The thing that first got me interested in Alan Lambert was a cassette handed to me by a friend. It contained the kind of rough dirty otherworldly music that would herald a postmodern apocalypse.
Alan, I later found out, constructs this music using only a 4-track recorder and a kid’s Casio keyboard with a built in primitive sampler. Probably because of the roughness of the instruments used for both creating and recording the music, tracks like ’Titus and Juno in the Suburbs’ and ’Tiny Tin Trains in China’ sound for all the world like Philip Glass after a course of lessons in feedback technology from the brothers in the JAMC. The tracks are uniformly excellent in terms of melody and structure and are laced wth off the wall humour. One example of such humour is the vocal for a track titled ‘The Man Who Cycled To The Moon’. They were provided by a kids talking ‘Hulk Hogan’ wind up toy. On another track a sampled rotating garden sprinkler provides the rhythm for other off the wall samples such as grass being pulled up by the roots.
The emphasis of the music is always on found sounds and Alan names as his influences everything from the Classics to early Mike Oldfield to Gong and The Disposable Heroes. Anything with good command of musical structure appeals to him.
At present, on the musical front, he is preparing a film soundtrack with the provisional title ‘Anam’ and looking forward to getting to grips with more conventional ‘professional’ recording methods, and to finding more outlets for his unusual, and in Ireland, almost totally unprecedented music.
The other side of his coin is art. He is presently preparing a major show which will be exhibited in Browne’s Gallery, Dawson street from 19th August to 4th September. It is based around a series of massive rough and ready assemblages of found objects. The boldest thing about these assemblages is that the found objects such as prams, toys, bricks and industrial junk are sized as soon as they come out of the skip so as preserve their thick coats of what can only be described as dirt. It is kind of reminiscent of the effect a nice wall of feedback has on a good tune.