Beyond Theory, album review
Lektroid returns with another fascinating ride through his ingenious musical mind that seems to know no limits! This artist has a knack for being very innovative in his sound design, without ever straying too far out and losing the core soulful aspect that makes his music very special. Having stayed a bit quiet over the past several months, this UK master of Electro music has been busy in the studio crafting up 10 new tunes to please your many tastes, ranging in styles from Electro Pop, to the dark and gritty, and even atmospheric. Prepare yourself for this one...let's go!
Starting off on this digital collection, "U.F.O." hits the ground running as marvelous high-pitched frequencies swirl around only to be met by captivating, slightly aggressive melodies that ride on the back of fierce Electro Funk beats gallore. Top notch stuff!
"Cosmos", coming next sends us down into the underworld of Lektroid's beautiful melodic compositions, rich with analog magic that creates so many layers full of melancholy and a beautiful spirit that at least to me, always seems so uplifting but in a really mature way. These aren't happy-go-lucky tunes by any means folks, brooding in most cases would be my way of describing it, but highly refined and speaking from a place of understanding the balance of light and dark well.
"Deltawave", the next song we find on this album, deals in a dose of 808 vibes as the groovy synths modulate ever so gently. The sound design in this one is spacey, and so carefully laid out and effected as to draw you into its own domain as if visiting a far away galaxy. Wonderful vocals in this one too! Love the way it breaks into classic Detroit Techno Bass a la' Juan Atkins halfway through, and then jumps back to its original state. A+.
As we continue down the rabbit hole that is Lektroid's mystifying sound, we find my favorite tune so far, which is called "Places". This retrofuturistic song is a bit of a throwback to 80's Electro-Pop, with a nice modern twist that makes for an interesting, passionate ride through charming vocals, tantalizing sequencing, and majestic strings and synths that bleed through, saturating things in a very warm, deeply profound way. This is a nice take on love ballads, not something common in Electronic music, but here done with such class! A couple of other tunes along this style, crafted to speak strongly into your heart with powerful emotive elements are "Another World", and "Fantastical". Two dream-like compositions that really define the soulful aspect of Lektroid's music with lots of character and depth.
If you are into Downtempo atmospheric music, a couple songs that will really intrigue you are the alluring "Tomorrow"; a spectacular song with enigmatic synth layers, and intelligent accompaniments that decorate the space between with a bit of an old school '90s feel, and "Dark Tones", which comes next, speeding up the tempos a bit, while retaining an elegant, slightly suspenseful and highly thought-provoking vibe that illuminates through this tune with radiance and meaning. I really love this one!
Fans of the 808 might find "The 808", and "Odyssey" to be very original representations of just how versatile this old drum machine can really be, especially when complimented by adding in the brooding styles that have catapulted Lektroid to being an artist known to have a very strong foundation in what he does musically. Which leaves me with the last songs to talk about on this album, which are "bitGarden", a Japanese-inspired groove of playful melodies and 8-bit retro delight with clever sequencing, as well as "Piano". A classy Breaks tune that innovates on the classic sound while bringing back soulful, jazzy grooves that made this one of the most popular Rave-era genres out there!
Highly recommended album by an artist I couldn't encourage you more to follow up on, if you haven't already caught on to his mesmerizing tunes that is! This new record is out now on the artist's Bandcamp page as a self-release, so please share and support! Amazing music such as this will not survive without true grassroots encouragement from fans around the world.
- Santino Fernandez