Review: Pretty Lightning ‘Dust Moves’

As I’ve undoubtedly mentioned, one of the many cool things about having the opportunity to write about music for The Sleeping Shaman, I’ll inevitably get introduced to a band and album that may have otherwise blown right by me, as I wade through the mountains of music I already have queued up to absorb. One such band, Pretty Lightning (cool name), a duo (randomly, the second duo I’ve reviewed back-to-back) out of Saarbrücken, Germany who’ve evidently been together for a decade, are releasing their fifth album, the instrumental Dust Moves on Fuzz Club.

Pretty Lightning 'Dust Moves'

This is my first experience with Pretty Lightning, who apparently feature vocals on prior releases, and have a slightly straighter forward approach, as opposed to what is found here on Dust Moves. Featuring many different laid-back, instrumental vibes that showcase many moods and feelings throughout, with an emphasis on western, desert blues, dusty psychedelic vibes, cool beats and trippy meanderings.

Glide Gently (Into The Chasm) (indeed) gets things started with a trippy, walking western guitar courtesy of Christian Berghoff, and a cool drum shuffle from drummer Sebastian Haas. Gewgaw For Beginners meanwhile conjures up the trippy-er, instrumental side of the Beastie Boys, to my ears. Perhaps it’s the funky walking bassline or just the overall vibe, but I get a ‘90s Grand Royal vibe with this track. Sediment Swing gives off late-night, walking-in-the-city vibes, a great build-up with the keys, Berghoff’s echo-y distant guitar, and is that a flute I hear?

We’re back to high noon, western vibes, but with a touch of melancholy, with The Secret Is Locked Inside, while Pretty Lightning opt for getting weird with the trippy, psychedelic Myth Glyph, which also gives off some Middle east vibes. The Slow Grinder sounds exactly like its title, as Haas lays back on the beat, allowing Berghoff to compliment his main guitar line with all sorts of effects and volume manipulation. Splinter Bowl, another great title, has a nice, funky beat, with a bit of attitude that’s accentuated by some nice key flourishes.

western, desert blues, dusty psychedelic vibes, cool beats and trippy meanderings…

On Creation Of A Cavity, Pretty Lightning showcase their ability at creating soundscapes, and moods, thus setting up the eventual instrumentation nicely. Powdermill, a late album favorite, showcases Berghoff’s grasp of the desert-western-psych blues, as this ride takes us to the mellow, spacey closer, Enchanted Debris.

I enjoyed Dust Moves quite a bit. I absorbed this album, late at night, while I was working on artwork, as Pretty Lightning provided me with an awesome soundtrack. This is great late-night music, driving music, or just kicking it, relaxing on the couch with the headphones on with one’s preferred mind-altering substance music.

Apparently Pretty Lightning are normally a blues-ier, more rocking band, which is not what I experienced with Dust Moves, but my curiosity has been quipped enough to explore more musical output from this German duo, who are not only talented musicians, but boast a strong name game, as evidenced in the band’s own moniker, and the aforementioned song titles. A cool record.

Label: Fuzz Club Records
Band Links: Official | Facebook | Bandcamp

Scribed by: Martin Williams