The new album from husband and wife duo Peaking Lights, a thirteen song psychedelic dub pop trip with layers of tape loops, FX, compression and the dreamily drifting vocals of Indra making for a very pleasant way to escape. Opener Dharma sets the tone for an album of Californian sunshine with the haze and half light of the rehearsal room/ studio. Third song EVP is propulsive, escapist dance pop with drones and processed backing vocals. The Damned is the early 80s crossed with Mediterranean Euro-pop. Dreams has delayed guitars and a dub bounce. By the end and final song Change Always Comes we’re deep into proggy, sail away territory, floating out on piano and waves of gentle noise.

Isolation Mix Two

A second Bagging Area mix for lockdown, an hour of tunes starting out ambient, taking a turn toward the Balearics and some fizzing electronics before the jetstream sends it back into more ambient, melancholic lands with waves and seagulls. Having the time and space to think about putting these together is one of the upsides of social distancing and isolation.

Private Mountain: Coming Back Home v Eric Cantona ‘When the seagulls follow the trawler…

Nils Frahm: Over There, It’s Raining

Steven Leggett: Bathhouse

Seahawks: Rainbow Sun

Peaking Lights: Beautiful Dub

Circle Sky: Ghost In The Machine

The Neil Cowley Trio: Echo Nebula (Vessels Remix)

Fila Brazillia: Midnight Friends

Mark Peters: Jacob’s Ladder (Ambient Innerlands Version)

Jan van den Broeke: Memories

A Man Called Adam: Easter Song (Gospel Oak FX)

Bjorn Torske: First Movement

Beautiful Dub

I’ve posted this song before but occasionally it re- appears in my brain out of nowhere or pops up on an old compilation CD and takes me away for a few minutes. Peaking Lights, a husband- wife duo from Wisconsin, put out an album in 2012 called Lucifer, a swirly psychedelic pop record that brightened the corners. They followed it with Lucifer In Dub, self- explanatory really, dubbed out re-workings of their own songs. The stand out was their dub of Beautiful Son, a song written for their then newborn baby Mikko. This is just under seven minutes of lush, warm, psychedelic dub, the aural equivalent of sunshine on a rainy day, to quote a completely different song .

Beautiful Dub



I was ploughing through a pile of cds behind the cd player in the kitchen, the spirit of Marie Kondo having entered this house while I was out at work. Most of them were either magazine freebies or mixes I’d burned myself, so inevitably some were keepers and some sent into the bin awaiting their place in landfill. I kept a Piccadilly Records 2017 sampler with an interesting looking tracklist and buried in the middle of it was this.


U’huh is by Sinkane (who made an e.p. back in 2015, four remixes of his songs by Peaking Lights, that was one of my favourite records of that year). Sinkane is Ahmed Gallab, a Sudanese- American, who combines Sudanese pop with whatever takes his fancy- dub, kraut, jazz, electronic music. U’huh is a joyful East African song with upbeat horns and a vocal saying that despite everything ‘we’re gonna be alright’. Watching the news currently I wish I shared his optimism.

This is from the Mean Dub e.p. which I highly recommend if you haven’t got it, four of Sinkane’s songs sent through the Peaking Lights dub blender.

Galley Boys (Peaking Lights Dub Mix)

Little Flower

Now that the sun has appeared, suddenly and in a blaze of heat and light, this four track ep that Peaking lights put out back in February makes perfect sense. The lead song, Little Flower, has a spoken/chanted vocal by Chloe Sevigny and the music is pure psychedelic-dub- tropical- disco with the emphasis on upbeat repetition. The second track Conga Blue has a similar vibe with a heavily vocodered backing vocal. There’s loads going on to lift the spirits.

Little Flower

New Year’s Eve

Right then, New Year’s Eve, an over-rated excuse for an enforced piss up if ever there was one. But staying in watching Jools, waiting for the clock to run down, is no good either.

Like many of you (us, the whinging, metropolitan, liberal elite out to deny the democratic voice of the British people) I won’t be too unhappy to see the back of 2016, a downer of a year in many ways. 2017 promises more of the same (in the shape of Trump if nothing else). All we can do is continue to rage against the dying of the light with good music, people we like and trust and a hope that things may get better. To celebrate seeing the back of the year here’s some tunes….

Durutti Column first, the combined talents of Vini Reilly and Martin Hannett, and a song to see the winter out- it’s getting a bit brighter every day and has been since December 21st. That’s something to cheer about.

Sketch For Winter

Some more guitars, this time the squealing, distorted and overloaded kind courtesy of James Williamson and Mr James Osterberg’s Stooges. The start of this song is phenomenal, like the engineer pressed the record button a fraction too late but the band went for it anyway.

Search and Destroy (Mono)

Now some proper four-on-the-floor house music from Chicago in 1987. It contains a spoken word section that has some of the best kiss off threats to the other girl ever recorded (see below)

You Used To Hold Me

It’s all about midnight, count it down. There, done.

Peaking Lights with some chilled out midnight dub sounds to ease 2017 in.

Midnight Dub

And to finish, because all nights should finish with this…

Come Together (Weatherall Mix)

Spoken word section from You Used To Hold Me…

Now honey let me tell you something about my man.
You know he’s a good looking sweet lil’ thing.
That man knows how to satisfy a woman
You know what I’m talking about?
Girlfriend let me tell you,
He bought me this fur coat
A brand new car and this 24 carat gold diamond ring
Ain’t it pretty?
Girfriend you know how it is,
When you got a good man,
You start doin’ things like wearing those high heel shoes
And the lace pocket with the garter belt,
And putting on that sweet smellin’ seductive perfume.
Hm hmm
But you know what?
I’m gonna have to put some lame brain in check honey
Cause she got her locks on my man.
But baby I ain’t givin up on this here good thing not for nobody.
Cause what that dorky chick got wouldn’t satisfy a cheese stick let alone my baby
She better take her big long haired butt and move on ’cause he’s mine all mine


One of my favourite records of this summer has been the Peaking Lights remix of Sinkane’s Yacha, which I posted a few months back. Ten minutes long, a beautiful collision of Sudan via Brooklyn versus a Wisconsin version of Jamaica. Despite being a dub mix it’s pretty fast, fully coloured in and with a vocal that swims above the rhythm and melody. A proper earworm and a dancer too. Peaking Lights have remixed three other songs from Sinkane’s Mean Love album and they all came out on an ep yesterday. As an aside, when did records start being released on Fridays?

Hold Tight is bass led with a stacatto beat and dubby percussion. Galley Boys starts with a dog barking and then rides on for a seven minutes, buckets of echo and delay. How We Be is a bass led beast, funky and insistent. Four forward thinking songs, boundaries removed, fully worked out for the head and the feet.


This remix of Sinkane by Peaking Lights was recommended by Alexis Petridis in the newspaper last week. It’s a sweltering piece of summery goodness, ten minutes of uptempo, busy fun with a non-stop vocal coming via Sudan and the Caribbean. Party music.


This new song from Peaking Lights came out in August ahead of a new album Cosmic Logic next month. On first listen I wasn’t too sure- some of the swirling, dubby, kaleidoscopic parts of their sound have disappeared. This is more straightforwardly electronic, more 80s. It’s growing on me now though.

Peaking Lights are one of those bands where I think the remixes are often better than the originals. The dub version of the last lp and the John Talabot remix of Beautiful Son are my favourites of theirs by a long way.

Lit Up

Tim Burgess remixed by Peaking Lights. This is hot off the press and sounding very nice indeed, gorgeous summer pianos, a stomping electronic beat and Tim’s vocals. It won’t cool you down but will put a smile on your face as you cross wearily back to the fridge for something cold. Eight minutes and fifty three seconds of lovely stuff and you can listen to it here.