When I listened to this first and homonymous album by duo Lamb at some point around the end of the 90s, I didn’t pay much attention to it, maybe because I was immersed in heavier or dance electronics, maybe because I thought that everything there – them, Morcheeba, Sneaker Pimps, etc – was a by-product of PortisheadAnyway, I don’t remember why I didn’t pay attention to it.
And then, as the decades passed (decades, bug, decades…) I completely forgot about it, until recently “Cottonwool”, the third track on the album, randomly appeared to me, with that jazz bass sampled and cut in the intro followed by by the voice of Louise Rhodes, then the sinister synth riff, the subtle keyboard and that broken jungle beat that I love so much… there, I put the album on and here I am, twenty-something years after that first listen, abducted by Lambor disc.
If the devil lives in the details, he certainly inhabits the debut of Louise and Andy Barlow, because in addition to the ‘basic mix’ of trip-hop, jungle, ambient and big beat that roughly constitutes the debut of the duo from Manchester, there are the details that capture the listener and don’t let him escape. Barlow’s rich and detailed production fills Lamb to the edges with countless synthesized, sampled and transformed instruments that give it different nuances and transform it into a dark and jazzy rhythmic patchwork; this confection combined with the soulful/emotional vocals in the right measure of Rhodes form one of the most intoxicating works of the vast electronic scene of the 90’s. By the way, not only nineties.
One of these days I’ll be back here to talk about one of the next two Lamb albums, also recently rediscovered and equally addictive. For now, I can only thank chance for bringing me this album again and for finally absorbing it properly.
Listen on the stalk!