Lunchbox – Anyways
Peanutbutter & Jelly
From Luzern, Switzerland, with a bit of Brooklyn thrown in, comes post-electronic powerhouse Lunchbox. The trio, which is comprised of Martin Baumgartner, Bruno Amstad, and DJ Olive, packs a steaming full frequency lunch. This collection of tracks has a global feel, and acts as a soundtrack for today’s conflicting emotions. As civilizations slog away with their old world views, these tracks lasso the moon.
Unprecedented arrangements are solidly reinforced by relentlessly funky African and Latin rhythms. The ever-present basslines always suprise, giving the music a grounded, earthy feel. Catchy melodies and hooks slip in and stick to the mind. Turntablist squawks and vocal outbursts are buried deep in the mix, lending a human feel without taking over. Intricate segways and breakdowns suprise, arriving and receding with an easy down home feel.
This lush, warm production sounds great on any sound system or on the home stereo. Trying to define Lunchbox’s sound reveals its genuine originality. Most of the same material is also available on two 12″ releases from the Agriculture (AG028 & AG029).
Anyways sounds like what you might get if you accidentally stumbled betweentwo softly playing radio stations on the dial that then started magically mixing together in sonic chainreaction. Of course you’d have to be on serious drugs for that shit to happen, so you’re far better off buying this Lunchbox CD. Comprised of Martin Baumgartner, Bruno Amstad and DJ Olive, Lunchbox playslike an ambient dub record culled from intercontinental influences, especially the samba rhythms that float in and out, between the sounds of city streets, acoustic guitar and wet drum tangents. What’s most strange and beautiful in Lunchbox’s approach is the pure pleasure and mystery of the record’s flow, which follows new paths and point-of-view links. It’s the aural companion to Richard Linklater’s film Slacker. But with sounds this velvet-gloved and enticing, it’s easy to slip from one drum beat to a nonsensical vocal riff, and then into deep, dark tunnel of echo and bassline. Anyways sounds genuinely stream-of-consciousness, a cut up project that,for all its asides and tributaries, is more like a windshield crack: Despite the many spidery veins, it’s all the samefissure. And it’s the deft ability to hold the whole, despite its fractured parts, that makes Anyways such an astounding record. 5/5. (Sponiczine)
All Music Guide
So many electronica artists feel that they have to decide between being pleasant and being interesting that Lunchbox comes as something of a surprise. The music created by this Swiss-Brooklynese trio (Martin Baumgartner, Bruna Amstad and DJ Olive) is unfailingly attractive and generally quite gentle, even as it deals in genuinely propulsive beats and grooves from unusual and sometimes downright exotic sound sources. Apparently in honor of the group’s moniker, the individual tracks on the program are all named after items one might find in a lunchbox: “Bento Box”, “Peanut Butter & Jelly”, and “Little Fruit Juice”, for example, as well as a few less likely candidates, such as “Jellyfish Roll” and “Crispy Duck”. These titles tell you nothing at all about the music, of course, which is generally slow to midtempo with beats that alternate between gently rolling hip hop (as on “Swordfish”, which prominently features DJ Olive’s subtly elegant turntablism), gently skanking reggae (“Rough Muffin”, get it?) and gently jittery drum’n’bass (“Peanut Butter & Jelly”). Gentle it all may be, but none of this music is soggy or sentimental, and none of it will bore you even if you pay close attention. Highly recommended.
(Rick Anderson, All Music Guide)
“Roof Musik” is a term that Brooklyn’s theAgriculture label often wants its listeners to keep in mind. Lunchbox embodies that new genre with flesh and blood. This trio of avant-turntablist veteran DJ Olive, laptop jockey Martin Baumgartner, and vocalist Bruno Amstad concocts the headphone soundtrack for that Sunday afternoon nap in your hammock.
On Anyways, leftfield dub and jazz rhythms carry a cubist-angled pastiche of Spanish guitar melodies, aquatic micro-tones, turntable wicky-wacks, swanky lounge piano, dense echoes, warped horns, and converstions of children in either French or a Middle Eastern dialect. Everything moves in stop-and-go candence and never feels redundant, or collapses into sonic overload – quite an achievement given what seems like hundreds of samples tossed in. Everything also coheres into a groove, even if the elements are often fragmented and processed into zigzagging bumblebees. Case in point is “Crispy Duck,” where piano flourishes splash and cause folk-guitar riffs and Amstad’s scats to spring up uncannily. Amstad’s onomatopoeias also frequently erupt like a disgruntled zoo elephant in “Jellyfish Roll,” and “Little Fruit Juices”.
There are so many minute details and changes in Anyways that repeated listens are mandatory. It’s like tasting that first spoonful of curry after living off of a diet of mayo on white toast for breakfast, steamed Spam for lunch, and boiled cabbage for dinner. (Cameron Macdonald)
A Swiss in Brooklyn. A Stubborn/unique idea, but it happens. And out of it comes an album with very swinging downtempo tracks, which here and there come across as improvisationally concscious and relaxed to find phases again and again in which it only still goes around the pure sound, which live there in the samples and beats, sometimes they think far from Dub, but Martin B., Bruno A. and Olive always find their way back to the groove, without having to fall back on any arbitraryness, which is often typical in the downtempo world. Strange, but very deep records. **** De:Bug
This is one of those albums which you will listen to in your most relaxing moments. You’re lying lazily, totally cool and indifferent in the context of the most positive mood. This is that state of mind that usually happens after a very drunk night, so after the morning hangover passes the most relaxed post-hangover state comes. Well just then you’re in the mood to simply lie down, listen to nice music, cool down and be completely listless. The lazy beats and the laid back atmosphere relax you even more. Soothing guitars, strong bass lines and childlike vocals. All of that in a completely pleasant lounge feeling. Jazzy sounding and sounds that come from the over populated urban suburb of some of the biggest metropolis in South America. I think somewhere in Argentina or Brazil. Even though the music has nothing to do with the typical Brazil sound in any context whatsoever. It is the voices which call out that indicate some of those places. Yes, this is quite a nice album.
(Toni Dimitrov, Vital Weekly)