This is the second release of Lucid. Murky visions of secret gardens, childhood reveries, mystical
journeys and imaginary bugaboo's? Perhaps, but as always, the listener can decide for themself
where the sounds and music takes them.
THE ROCKET (DECEMBER 1996)
There is a mysterious intimacy to the music of Lucid that must be experienced in quiet, patient
turns. Though I'd call Lucid 'difficult music', I would still include them in a world that has made a
place for the likes of John Cage, Pram, and the Cocteau Twins. Lucid's music - they seem only
barely concerned with constructing anything like a song - is full of interesting corners, filigreed
detail, and boxes that, when opened, just grow more and more curious. Indeed, if anything,
listening to this remarkable LP (full of buzzing bees, half dreamed melodies, creaking doors, and
Cheshire Cats) is like stepping through the looking glass. Lucid make music that is part
hallucination, part daydream, part memory. They are romantic, listful, haunting, delicate, and
slightly, elegantly macabre. So full and convincing is their world, that it's easy to forget that this disc
is even on. It seems, all too strangely, like the sounds, words, noises falling through your brain,
into your heart. A strange and entirely compelling experience. (S. Duda)
ALTERNATIVE PRESS (APRIL 1997)
Etudes for watchsprings, wrenches, and human voices distance Lucid from the 4ADemented
masses and Projekt's 'gothique' absurdists. Uncomfortably simple musings such as "One Of The
Clearly" conceal startling depths: two-note piano chords and concrete indercurrents refract into
accreted layers of weightless density. Galloping rhythms quickly fragment into tape-loop
distractions ('The Heady Elemental') or arise spontaneously from static beehive drones ('Swarming
Sweet'). Idylls challenges listeners to abandon preconceptions and to accept the band's own
fascinating terms. Perhaps the audience that opened it's doors to Rachel's and His Name Is Alive
will welcome the exquisite poetry of Idylls. (Gil Gershman)
OPUS ZINE (DECEMBER 2000)
Of all of the bands that I listen to with any regularity, Lucid is by far the most enigmatic and
mysterious. I know basically nothing about this band, other than the names of the people in it and
what they play. Other than that, I’m in the dark. Everything about this band just adds to the overall
fascination I have with this band. The band name, the album title, the titles of the songs, the sleeve
art(what little there is), everything.
One of the things that I found most fascinating with this album, as well as their first, was the ability
of Lucid’s music to actually take you somewhere. I’m not talking about an emotional rollercoaster,
or evocative words. I mean, the ability to actually make a scene, or set a tone that actually makes
you see something. In this way, Lucid is very cinematic. A lot of times, I think I’m listening to the
recording of some old impressionistic, Lovecraftian film.
Lucid’s music is the ultimate expression of the word “illusory.” On “Who Listen,” you’re standing in
a flowered field with bees buzzing around you while, off in the hazy distance, church bells chime out
a haunting melody; suddenly, out of nowhere, a man’s sad groans can be heard, only to be cut off.
“The Reverberation Of His Day” starts out with what sounds like a walk through a forest at dusk,
complete with the howls of some lupine creature. But suddenly, you’re wading in some
underground river; water drips around you, unseen creatures splash and glide through the black
waters, and echoing, wavering tones sound all around you until the final end when those unseen
creatures leap out.
Musically, I could compare Lucid to bands like His Name Is Alive, Lovesliescrushing, and This
Mortal Coil. And even though I love those bands dearly, Lucid’s music puts all of these artists to
shame. They seem like mere amateurs compared to Lucid’s ability to manipulate and create
sound and atmosphere. One of the things that first struck me about Lucid’s music are the brevity of
the songs. Most are under 3 minutes, all are under 4. At first, I thought that might be a bad thing.
But Lucid’s music pays no attention to time constraints. In 2 minutes, Lucid is able to create a
mood just as, or even more effective and daunting than some 20 minute dark-ambient pieces.
With their second album, Lucid delivers more of the same eerie, spooky, captivating sounds that
were on their debut album, “Baby Labyrinthian.” Only this time, “Idylls…” seems to have a slightly
darker and more disturbing nature underneath the odd sounds, source recordings, and themes
that characterize Lucid’s music. But beneath all of the minimalism and serenity, all of the things
you can put words to, there creeps a real uneasiness, a trembling apprehension. “Ephemeral
Moon Dream” places you in the middle of a forest while crickets, frogs, and unknown creatures
sing and croak. Ominous tones, like the feeling you’re being watched made audible, and wavering
female voices and drones feel your ears. It all dissolves into a reverbed and echoing cacaphony
that will cover you in goosebumps.
Even a pleasant-sounding piece like “Uncertain Whether,” with its soft guitar, wavering sonic
washes, and childish vocals hide a certain apprehension. Once, when I was all alone in my
house, I decided to put this CD on while I went to sleep. By the 7th track, I had to stop the CD
player and stick in Seefeel because this CD was giving me some weird dreams. I’ve never had to
do that with any of the other CDs I’ve listened to.
That’s not to say that all of the music on the disc makes you feel like there’s someone looking over
your shoulder. There’s a lot of pleasant music on this CD as well; the variety is just another
testament to this group’s skill. “Swarming Sweet” sounds like an instrumental track off a Steve
Scott album - gentle ethnic percussion, a gamelan-like melody, and cascades of crystalline sound
loop together into something you wouldn’t mind hearing again and again. “Baptized In Memory” is
a beautifully depressing piano piece, something to listen to over and over again in an empty room
while staring at the rain outside.
With this CD, you want to discuss each song in detail, simply because each song has so much
detail in it. Lucid is the perfect combination of experimental music in my opinion. It’s conceptual
and bizarre and otherworldly. But at the same time, it’s listenable and even moving. I don’t know
where these people get their inspiration or opus, but I just hope they keep creating works of art like
this one. (Jason Morehead)
l i n k s
f o r u m
c o n t a c t
m a i n
catalog number: AE3
title: Idylls And The Secret Remain
status: out of print