Sarah Lipstate’s music can serve many purposes. It can relax you, excite you, push you. Her guitar-based instrumental style has earned her many well-deserved accolades over her career, and her excellent new record “Fantastic Planet” should swell her collection of admirers.
There are many layers of adventure to opener “Into the Dunes,” which goes from atmosphere to agitated guitar stabs; “No Unholy Mountain” that shimmers and stymies; the playful but weird “Sisters”; “Pulse Point” that’s built on bursts of sound, knocks, and gentle, stimulating melodies; and closer The Ascent” that has Lipstate pushing back at you, challenging you, and poking at you, giving you no alternative other than to react. (Brian Krasman)