Lifted return with album 3 following the incremental ‘countdown’ eps released during 2020 and 2021.
3 sees the core Lifted duo of Max D & Matt Papich unravel their visions of excess into their most divergent and wide-eyed collection yet. In its physical form It is beautifully illustrated with a suite of gently surreal and nuanced paintings by Jordan Kasey (yes, related to Martin Kasey, saxophonist on 2019’s LP 2) and packaged for a seamless listen.
First scene ‘Chefs’ places us squarely off-center, landing in a cinematic environment that feels a bit like steadycam Luis Bunuel , wine bottle whoo-ing and horn fanfare. Its music without a hard surface, defined more by its fluidity and characters, found sounds and performed dialogue. “Cymbecko” shifts gears into blissful ambient dub, and paves the way for a Luke Stewart led excursion into the uncanny that is ‘Trip Tongue’. Stewart’s upright bass never stops seeking, while Jordan GCZs Rhodes barely touches down before lifting back up into and out of Jacob Long’s (Earthen Sea, Esau) liquid tone sheets. An outside world of percussion accompanies.
The mood morphs and the scene cuts in hard with “Born in the Roof”, slacker techno that grows shimmering parts, Perlon for potheads. Voiceover slacks right with it, a half-convo caught in the billowing chorus of fx. “Macarena” snaps things into focus, working almost like an open window to airing out the heady fog. Simplicity in the vignette.
After “Mecha Perfume & Variety”, “Snow Dancing” reignites the drama, with burning guitar by Jonny Nash taking a plucky and sliding lead over wildly fused drums by Max D, we get a test of new depths for Lifted with the somber and exuberant “Whipped Cream”. Crackling like a radio but with modern propulsion in the form of richly evocative pads courtesy of Motion Graphics, it sounds like a dinner, a space trip, a storyboard, a scene, threaded together in bouncing, oblique ways.
"Bobby V" drops refreshingly, timed like a credit roll and leaving an afterglow that feels more tuned-in than ever.
Players on this album include: Luke Stewart (Irreversible Entanglements, Blacks Myths), Jeremy Hyman, Jonny Nash (Melody As Truth), Jordan GCZ, Matt Papich, Josh Levi, Mezey, Hirama, Dawit Eklund (1432 R), Motion Graphics, Max D, Jacob Long (Earthen Sea, Esau)
Cover painting, "Double Moon" by Jordan Kasey
CD layout by Olivia Tucker
Such a stunning album and a remarkable experience listening through the tape. Unique elements of broken beat and off-kilter synth manipulation in perfect harmony. Viva Mike & Aaron and big up Joint Custody for having this in stock. Jackson Ryland
This is a especially minimalist set of material for Huerco S. There's a lot of really beautiful additive/spectral synthesis work on this record. For my tastes it's not as compelling some of his earlier work, but the highlights get into some fantastically bizarre stylistic intersections, driving the clangorous palette of the record toward footwork or cloud rap for instance. Nick Suda