If one perceives the best dance music as music that percolates and circulates rhythmically, undulating at various frothy tempo’s, then Peaking Lights’ album The Fifth Shape Of Consciousness is the doyen of the art. More a collection of loose shapes and looser colours then a set of songs; it billows and pulses across its expanse. This is an album to wallow in. This is an album to tune in and nod out to. This is an album so committed to its internal groove-world that it insists you leave all your bullshit at the door and have a good time.
‘Dreaming Outside’ opens the album with slow uprisings of steam as electro sizzles over druggy beats and vocals that can’t tell night from day. The Fifth State is here and you’re brain deep whether you like it or not.
‘Coyote Ghost Melodies’ is squelcher, hitting you up with reggae lilts and knocking you down with dubby bass. Beamed directly from inside the mind of Philip K Dick, can you feel the ooze rise up inside you?
The first time I heard ‘Evertime I See The Light’ I made up my own lyrics and sang “I’ve been kicked right down to the fucking edge” in my best Shaun Ryder voice. It was an epic performance. That aside, two striding guitar lines play and flirt furtively with each other, occasionally kicking into a rock- esque solo.
‘I’ll Be In The Sky’ assembles it’s Tetris blocks into a ketamine motorik structure.
“Love Can Move Mountains”, with its clanking percussion, big chorus and insistent bass is the kind of song that Depeche Mode fans think Depeche Mode made.
‘Sweetness Isn’t Far Away’ is the sound of a piano that has escaped its confines of the cocktail bar and gone on an adventure, tinkling its joy every step of the way.
‘Que Du Bon’ emerges from a traffic jam of noise into a sultry, blared at the edges glide like a better version of latter-day Roxy Music, or the Milk Tray man delivering hot sauce. Sleaze all the way, distorted backing vox adding heat.
With breathy acid house backing vox ‘A Phoenix And A Fish’ isn’t too far from The Durutti Column’s acid leaning Obey The Time.
‘Eclipse Of The Heart’ is the dubbiest track of the album; cascading rivulets of percussion, twanging echoes and spacey guitars and what I hope to hell is a melodica.
‘In My Disguise’ returns to the force and whips up strong, interlocked rhythms to boogie too; instruments working and sweating like race horses. If the middle of the album is trippy, this is focused and gleaming. With it’s mechanised party vibe this isn’t far from a 21st century version of ‘Burning Down The House’.
‘Put Down Your Guns’ epic closer is protest dub; steam room percussion, sirens and arresting vox.
For 12 tracks The Fifth State Of Consciousness never lets up, an all night/day party, music that never ends. Put in on constant rotation. Put yourself on constant rotation. It’s what Peaking Lights want for you.