Both Michael Shipway and his musical partner Garth Jones were quite amazed by the many positive and enthusiastic responses on their Lamp-debut “The Three Towers”, so it was just a matter of time before a follow-up would materialize. The outcome became “Scales of Fortune (Tales from Bernodine – Volume 2)”, on which the duo presents a little more laid-back and relaxed range of instrumental electronic music, a true reflection of how they want Lamp to sound at the moment.
In the process of creating the music, Garth (a boyhood admirer of the Shadows and the Hank Marvin guitar sound) seized the opportunity to use a Hank Marvin Signature Burns guitar he bought, although there’s also a small part where he plays his beloved Fender Stratocaster. Michael on his part used those Garth’s guitar tracks as inspiration for an assortment of electronic sequences and atmospheric sounds as well as melodic synthesiser leads, using the Korg Kronos, Access Virus, Yamaha Motif and Spectrasonics Omnisphere for the synthetic parts.
Unlike “The Three Towers”, the tracks ended up a little shorter (approximately 15 minutes each) but having created four of them it was decided they would make a good collection as a full album. This was handed over to Ron Boots who made an excellent master recording, lifting the moody as melodic outcome to another level.
In the end, the sonic moves of “Scales of Fortune” turn up more easy-listening, less captivating and energetic, also containing a few synth solos sounding a bit thin to my taste. It still complements the output of VoLt and Mr Smith’s Cylas Project quite nicely.
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