Music for Lamping can’t keep from bringing Flavor Flav to mind: “I’m lampin’, I’m lampin’, I’m cold cold lampin’.” But right or wrong, I imagine that Strategy is using the word more in the sense of hanging out around lamps. I think of quiet, lonely streets lined with lamplights. The album is his attempt to take his music in a more meditative direction. “Meditative” is his choice of word, over “ambient”, and the distinction makes sense. Music for Lamping retains the steely sound of Strategy’s music, even while relaxing , stretching and “zoning out”, if you will. It’s atmospheric music, and the atmosphere is introspective, even calming in a way. But the sounds are still sharp, not as soft or static as “ambient” conjures up, at least in its stereotypical definition. Each track has a recording note like, “Recorded in the vicinity of NW 21st Avenue and Overton Street, Portland, 2005”, so maybe “lamping” describes the process of recording by street light. Maybe the atmosphere we’re hearing is indeed that quiet street, late at night, with the strange hums and crackles streetlights tend to make as they randomly turn themselves on and off.
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