Ben Hauptmann
LEKKER ( stars

This music is like a lush garden viewed via time-lapse photography, with some new plant rising from the earth and blossoming into a dazzling display of colour. The sounds are nearly all electronic, but Ben Hauptmann’s peculiar achievement is to have imbued them with warmth as well as this sense of luxuriant density. A versatile guitarist across jazz, world, rock, folk and cabaret idioms, Hauptmann here zeros in on what we might label techno fusion, generating most of the sounds himself, with his primary helper being his brother James on drums and percussion. The resultant sound-world is sometimes Eno-esque, or perhaps even more reminiscent of those two collaborations in the ’80s between Robert Fripp and Andy Summers. You feel yourself so surrounded by thickets of enchanting melodies and appealing sounds that, in a can’t-see-the-wood-for-the-trees effect, the expert musicianship fades into the background. Guests include Katie Noonan, Arne Hanna, Brendan Clarke and Dan Junor. JOHN SHAND

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