Published Sep 26, 2014Daedelus' 14th release (and return to the Brainfeeder label) takes its title from Lord Alfred Tennyson's poem The Charge Of The Light Brigade, which is about a group of outnumbered British Cavalrymen besieged by the Russians during the Crimean war in the 1850s. This isn't the first time that the artist born Alfred Darlington has tackled the theme of war: 2010's The Righteous Fists of Harmony examined the Boxer Rebellion, and The Light Brigade tells the story of the Crimean War from the battle lines.
But this isn't the L.A. beat version of a broad historical epic: "Into the valley of death rode the 600," is proclaimed to swelling layers of synths on the intro "Until Artillery," which shifts into solo acoustic guitar on the mournful "Baba Yaga," creating a palpable sense of anxiety. One could argue that "Onward," which features an evocative vocal by Young Dad, is a rallying cry. "You don't have to say it, I'm on my way, I'm not going alone," go the lyrics, but the sparse instrumentation evokes a feeling of solitary terror. The pastoral acoustic guitars that color "Battery and Smoke" offer a sunny reprieve, while "Country of Conquest" closes the album with a sweeping, cinematic feel that evaporates into doleful piano at its coda. The Light Brigade is a sombre and compelling sonic examination of warfare. (Ninja Tune/Brainfeeder)