Review: Lazer Sword – Memory
Published on March 23rd, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Berlin/LA duo Lando Kal and Low Limit bring out their second album on Modeselektor‘s Monkeytown Records, which has already served us with what looks likely to be one of this year’s finest records in the form of Parastrophics by Mouse on Mars. So, what can we expect from these chaps?
Well, without wishing to use the extravagant sonic exploits of their label mates as a stick to beat Lazer Sword with, Memory presents a much more straightforward version of synaesthetic soundscape-sculpting, and one which may well appeal to fans of Oneohtrix Point Never’s Replica LP of last year. While this is more frenetic, it also feels designed to hypnotise rather than transport, to entrench you in lucid dream rather than whisk you from one fanciful setting to the next…and it must be said that it does this rather well.
Suffice it to say, repetition is a weapon of choice for Lazer Sword, and the electronic swirl of “Sky Burial” lets us know what to expect in no uncertain terms. However, its deceptively dense mix unravels with each listen, things clanking, bubbling and boinging away in the background, and there’s even the occasional injection of silly synth. The woozy, ambient jazz-synth dashes of “Toldyall” pops and clicks like early Boards of Canada before breaking into a sort of jungle beat, “Missed a Spot” thumps and squelches menacingly away like Aphex Twin’s Analord series, while “Better From U” entertains by dint of whirring, parping stings and a looped male voice that sounds like it’s saying ‘fondue’ (obviously it’s repeating the titular phrase, but ‘fondue’ is more pleasingly disorienting).
“Pleasure Zone” does good by its word with nocturnal ambience and insistently popping synth bass couplets, “Sounds Sane” is like a sly, jittery and oddly funky microcosm of the album, “CHSEN” gets ‘monged but mischievous’ down to a tee while reminding of “German Clap” from Modeselektor‘s Monkeytown album of last year, before the skipping, zapping zone-out of “People” brings the curtain down on a diverting late-night set of bells-and-whistles electronica.
Not the most adventurous record to emerge from Monkeytown of late, but another strong signing nonetheless.
Rocksucker says: Seven Quails out of Ten!