Lostep "Because We Can"Out Now on GU Music
It has been a long wait, but finally fellow Melbournians Luke Chable and Phil K are here to present what has easily been one of the most anticipated albums to see the light as of yet this year. The massive tune which got the attention of many was of course "Burma", an emotive breakbeat track which was then picked up by Sasha for none other than his groundbreaking "Involver" CD, the remix which was later released alongside another from Trafik. However, before the success of "Burma", the track which really got the ball rolling was a driving fast paced track titled of course, "The Roots". But a number I will always hold close to my heart is their stellar rework of Shpongle´s "Dorset Perception", which without a doubt features one of the most brutal percussion lines to be found in my collection of tracks! The message to be taken here, is that Lostep are no strangers to the scene, and most seem to find something of interest in their work, hence justifying the large build up to the album in the spotlight here.
"6am Sedna". They couldn´t have got the title any better. As the album opens, we get the feeling that morning is about to break upon us, yet the peacefulness of it all takes us away, perhaps to the most distant object to rotate around the sun. Again, an amazing title for an amazing intro. Careful not to pick up the pace too quickly, "Theme From A Fairytale" layers itself upon us with amazing grace. The track slowly builds up in emotion, without making any particular element stand out above the rest. If this is on in the background, it is great, but if you are sitting focussed on it while you listen, it will most certainly send chills down your spine if you have a soul.
"Construction Of A Deep Space Station" acts as a short bridge to "Naughty", building up intensity via galactic rumbles and other noises from out of this world. "Naughty" is where we first see evidence of the cheeky/dirty Lostep that we have all come to love. Almost grungy synths are coupled with futuristic squelches to provide an aural assault on our ears, yet still keeping up the lazy pace of the previous track. Keeping up this cheeky theme, a track you may be familiar with, the title track from the album which was released earlier on alongside "Theme From A Fairytale". Lovers of electro and distortion will be in heaven here, especially due to this being complemented by a rocking proggy foundation. During the breakdown, we get some trademark breakbeats thrown at us to get that true Lostep feel worked right into the track, showing they are more than many may have realized!
"Computer Crash" is another short bridge in the same vein as "Construction Of A Deep Space Station". They seem to warn of impending craziness on the following track. However, if you have made it this far into the album, there is no turning back. The fun is only just beginning...
"Little Peaking" is one of the most solid tracks on the album, and for anybody who was lucky enough to be present at Hybrid´s gig at Twisted Melon earlier in the year, this track will bring back some amazing memories. The bassline may be simplistic, but amazingly catchy. And that tends to be what works the best. Sometimes producers try too hard, take their track over the top, and it crashes and burns. The Lostep boys have found the perfect balance here. This solid foundation is the basis for a wall of tightly tweaked effects and glitches, leading to a breakdown where the breakbeats explode and Lostep step out and show their true colours. Simply amazing!
"Dr King´s Surgery" has a washed out dirty feel to it, but is propelled by a solid and driving bassline. Some chant-like vocals can be heard in the back, but they didn´t really do a lot for me, and hence make this one of my least favourites on the album. The breakdown allows the vocals to make their way to the foreground. Then after this breakdown, the track seems to transform into a sleazy and twisted breakbeat which is multiple times better than the first part of the track, and definitely more Lostep. Even when I thought they might have let us down slightly, they picked up the pace quicker than I could have even imagined. Yet again they pull it off!
If you´re anything like me, you´ll be extremely worked out by this point in the album. And so thankfully, "Shortcut To Granuland" gives us time to recompose as we venture forth towards the final sector of the album. Taking us away from here is the ever popular "Burma", which certainly needs no description here, as you should all most certainly be familiar with it. And it still sounds as amazing as the first time I heard it! Without wasting time, this mixes right into what is easily the strongest track on the whole album, another favourite of Hybrid´s which should bring back memories if you´ve heard them drop it live, is "Villain". Straight out of the packaging the chordal progression will work its way into your head, as the sleek acoustic guitar riffs provide relief in the mid ranges. Elements build and build until the breakdown, after which a haunting guitar string sequence comes out of nowhere and sends the chills running down your spine once again! To top this off, the excellent chordal progression at the beginning of the track evolves even further, and progresses in a step-up fashion, to create one of the most emotive breakbeat tracks I have heard in a very long time. For that moment of your night where you hit your highest peak, there is no better track at the moment than "Villain". The album then ends on a bit of a strange note, with the classic pong sounds heard on "Family Tennis" for a few seconds, as the album closes. A bit of an anticlimax, but "Villain" will be so heavily imprinted in your mind that it will make little difference.
This album makes me proud to be a Melbournian. There is simply nothing more too it. If it weren´t for the two little faulters I mentioned in the review, I would have no hesitation in giving this album a perfect score. Creating a perfect compilation comes down to mainly three things. Great track selection, great mixing, and great flow. If that is all it takes to create the perfect compilation, then there are at least three thousand things to consider when crafting the perfect original artist album. It is very rare to find an artist album of this quality, and if you haven´t got the message yet, then read my words very clearly. It would be a sin to not experience this album at least once.
|Digg, Del.icio.us, Technorati, Blinklist, Furl, reddit|
Title: Because We Can
Label: GU Music
By: Jason Calvert | 11 April 2006