Lamplighter – All Is Vanity: Album Review

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Lamplighter (aka Robin Legge) is an Edinburgh based musician/producer, with an album of instrumental, electronic hip-hop out next week. I’m already horribly out of my depth and I’ve not even started reviewing the album, All Is Vanity, yet. Settle in and laugh as I now try to write more than just “I liked this” over and over.

So, we’ve established that I like the album. Why? Well, for one thing when it is done well I enjoy instrumental hip hop. Lamplighter does it well. Although the album is – at least to my uneducated ears – well produced it isn’t too polished. There’s an endearing rough quality to things, nothing sounds too clinical.
All Is Vanity also reminds me of a few things that I really like too. There’s a few songs that bring to mind the production on the first Wu Tang Clan album, for example. Just little things, the way things sound interesting, a bit off kilter and not quite what you expect.
Another thing the album puts me in mind of is a John Carpenter score. Much of the album has similar use of atmosphere and hooks, and a somewhat retro, lo-fi vibe to it, that you can find in Carpenter’s music.
So, yeah, even though I’m rubbish at trying to explain why, I liked All Is Vanity a lot. There’s a track embedded below, and more on Lamplighter’s MySpace, so have a listen for yourself.
All is Vanity is released by Antimatter Records on May 10th.
Lamplighter plays an album launch gig at La Cheetah in Glasgow on May 6th, with support from Noma and Cheer.