SOLO1 “Peninsula Strays” (Doom Trip Records)

Not unlike Leyland Kirby’s work, Solo1’s Peninsula Strays sounds like it’s taking place under water, a subaqueous song cycle that’s as level as it is engaging. Moving from samples to guitar to “various boxes” and back, all often within the same track, Andy Billington, of the YOU KAY, crafts woozy, languid soundscapes, sometimes gently rhythmic, as if Ant’lrd and Doom Trip alum Parallax ’48 collaborated on the experimental drone hit of the summer. And it is summer after all, and it’s really hot here where I live, so the cool waves of Peninsula Strays is a welcome distraction form the unending mercurial torture, each of the twelve tracks a refreshing balm. In fact, I just returned from vacation, and listening to Solo1 gives me the same feelings I had while stretched out on a raft in a pool. But don’t mistake Solo1 for a nostalgia-beach act or a mai tai-drunk relaxomundo purveyor of the tropical sort. Complete opposite. The walls of the backs of your eyelids shimmer in electric blue, nighttime light sources filtered through liquid, and you drift through a dream state to surreal landscapes that only you are able to understand. As reality bends, the music bends with it, bubbling and bursting till it reconstitutes itself as something a little different, not much, but enough to continue unfettered in a new direction, exclusive to your own imagination. That’s the fun of Peninsula Strays – no matter how you approach it, it works with you. It’s very cooperative that way. And who doesn’t like music that’s cooperative?

Doom Trip Records

--Ryan Masteller