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Rupert Lally - Strange Systems

Rupert Lally started his musical career as a sound designer and composer for theatre and television.

Since 2005 Lally has been releasing albums covering everything from ambient soundscapes and imagined scores to Modular Synthesizers and synthwave albums and virtually everything in between. Lally has the unique ability to blend and blur the musical boundaries, effortlessly mixing electronica with acoustic sounds. Lally also seems to have music streaming out of him. He releases music at a blistering pace and all of its at a remarkably high standard.

“Strange Systems” is Rupert Lally’s latest album. It’s released as a download and limited edition cassette on Third Kind Records, an independent label based in Brighton, Sussex.

“Strange Systems” opens with the nine minute long “A Swarm Of Birds Off The Dorset Coast.” An ambitious ambient soundscape, that’s beautifully gentle and washes warmly over you like a delicate summer breeze. The pace is subtly raised, a beat injected and the following three songs drift wistfully together. “Neatly Folded,” “Colours Fade” and “Sources Of Uncertainty.”

“My Place In All Of This” adds an unusual vocal effect to the mix and “Broken Tones” adds a slightly more urgent, heavier beat. “Mindscapes” drops back into a more ambient setting, drifting and swirling around a half heard bass line. The album ends on “Tokyo Love Story.” An electronica sound, full of floating effects and a soft throbbing bass that’s deeply satisfying.

The blurb for “Strange Systems” reads:

In the world of computer music ‘Systems music’ refers to the fractal-based computer-assisted
composition.

But in the world of Rupert Lally “System music” refers to creative and emotional compositions that are filled with technicolour wonder. “Strange Systems” brings to mind a lovingly remembered summer holiday from the days of a distant youth. The heat of the sun, the warmth in the breeze, the long, lazy, forever summer feelings. There’s a touch of nostalgic melancholy to the sound, never forced or overbearing, just a whiff or twinge for lost innocents.

I must confess to being a fan of Rupert Lally’s work. With such an impressive and varied back catalogue its often difficult to suggest a starting point. “Strange Systems” is a decidedly interesting listen and may well be a good place to start exploring Lally’s music. It’s an easy, accessible listen, not trying to push boundaries, just trying to entertain. If you already know Lally’s music then “Strange Systems” will keep you happy until the next release and knowing how quickly inspiration takes Rupert, that’ll be about the time I’ve finished writing this review.

Strange Systems is out now via Third Kind Records

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