This debut soundtrack by Damian Lazarus is a real departure from the veteran producer and DJ’s usual dancefloor leanings. The first release on Secret Teachings, it’s a resounding statement of intent from a label with a mission to champion exciting global music.
The album is inspired by acclaimed 2021 documentary ‘Beijing Spring’, which chronicles the struggle for free speech and artistic expression in the People’s Republic of China in the late 1970s. Steeped in dense electronic ebb and flow, and featuring ancient Chinese instruments played by musicians tinkering around with the same tonal scale, this is a truly resonant and fascinating piece of work.
Meditative, haunting and beautifully poised, it just teems with sonic detail. Dulcimer and drone combine to utterly spellbinding effect on ‘Spring’, ‘Oath’ instantly locks you into its understated, fluid groove, and the vocal ululations on ‘The Cleaner And The Tree’ are something else. Music from the outer reaches, sent to soothe the soul – Lazarus has truly surpassed himself here.