These United States at Webster Hall
Pianist Jenny Q Chai at Zankel

Unsound Festival - LXMP & Peaking Lights

by Michael Ouchakof


The Unsound Festival offered up a twin-bill at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center on the second day of the fest in the form of Poland’s LXMP and the Wisconsin-based duo Peaking Lights. While the Target Free Thursdays concert series plays host to considerably avant-garde world and jazz artists, this particular evening pushed beyond the comfortable confines associated with events at Lincoln Center.

The Atrium, a unique public space nestled between the iconic Center and the legendary Jazz at Lincoln Center, was standing room only for the U.S. debut of LXMP as they offered an interpretation of Herbie Hancock’s Future Shock.  The synth and (acoustic) drum duo opened the set with an often frenetic and deconstructed version of “Rockit.” At times it seemed that some of the more reserved members of the audience who are accustomed to the usual concert series offerings were unsure of what to make of the duo’s driving beats and tonally transmutated themes. However, their rapt attention to nearly every note indicated that LXMP left an indelible impression.

Following LXMP’s set, the fully electronic and highly ambient Peaking Lights transported the audience to through the far-reaching depths of sound. The duo, with a list of influences and genre-spanning descriptives that could fill the remainder of this post, offered a host of new songs from their forthcoming release Lucifer. Haunting vocals backed by multi-layered beats and samples persisted throughout their set, ensuring that clubber-graduates donning their day-job uniforms along with the Atrium’s Thursday regulars had plenty to digest.

The Unsound Festival continues through the weekend at venues throughout the City.Peaking Lights