Daniel Avery – ‘Love + Light’ review: a heartfelt eulogy for the hedonism we’re missing this summer

Surprise-released when we should have been off our mash at Glastonbury, this two-part record perfectly captures the euphoria of club culture

This time last year, Daniel Avery would have been preparing for the first of three Glastonbury sets. Across the weekend, the producer brought his stylish techno to a host of revellers, playing the bombastic spectacle that is Pangea (2019’s installation included a swinging crane and a whole lot of pyro) and the Beat Hotel closing party. It feels fitting, then, that even though the global pandemic has halted this year’s pilgrimage to Worthy Farm, Avery has provided us with something to dance to (albeit socially distanced).

Avery’s third album, ‘Love + Light’, dropped with little fanfare. The surprise release follows his 2013 debut, the kinetic ‘Drone Logic’, and it’s 2018 follow-up, the ethereal, ambient-laced ‘Song For Alpha’, and was only finished a few weeks ago. With the world going into lockdown and his busy schedule as an in-demand DJ eased up, Avery was able to properly sit down with the demoes he’d created over the past few years, and the music rapidly started to take the shape of a full-length album. In a statement Avery explained that the album was a “real positive force of energy” in his life, and that it “almost formed itself” in front of him.

Avery wanted to keep that momentum up and instead of pushing it out over the course of a lengthy album campaign, he got it into listeners ears’ as quickly as possible.

The record is split into two sections – the first, filled with pulsating beats and noisy, industrial synths, feels more geared to the club. The euphoric ‘Dusting For Smoke’ meshes bleeping electronics and purring instrumentals, creating the sort of exhilaration typically experienced at 3AM somewhere in Glasto’s hedonistic paradise Shangri-La, while acidic ‘Searing Light, Forward Motion’ draws you in with its dark, relentless nature. There are moments of light, too. Short, airy tracks ‘Depth Wish’ and ‘Katana’ offer a moment of respite in-between thrashing techno, with twinkling strings and quiet instrumentals, while ‘Darlinnn’ is an entrancing siren call to the dance-floor.

The second half offers a stark comparison. Filled with gorgeous, ghostly compositions, it’s the sound of leaving the dance-floor at 5am, emerging from the dimly lit club and walking home as the sun begins to rise. Its emotive, ambient sounds are light and natural, filled with sprightly rhythms and nimble, skittering beats. ‘After the Fire’ is weirdly reminiscent of Texan post-rockers Explosions in the Sky (if only they traded in their guitars for synthesisers), while breezy ‘One More Morning’ combines elements of trance and minimalism with Avery’s usual sounds.

‘Love + Light’ feels like it soundtracks your entire night out – from your first steps into the club to arriving home after hours of raving. If you spent the weekend sorely missing the debauchery on offer at Glastonbury’s late night establishments, you can at least put on Daniel Avery’s latest album and pretend you’re there.


Release date: June 26

Record label: Phantasy