Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Loving ... "Irrational" by Lozk

I love hearing new music. Maybe I'm wired that way, I don't know, but it's something I love.

I also love receiving music completely out of the blue ... from the leftfield, so to speak. This is how I came to hear Lozk. I was sent a track via Twitter to listen to. I was impressed and said so to my friend who had sent the track. It wasn't my usual cup-of-tea but then again it's good to venture out of the ol’ comfort zone now and again and try a different blend.

This Twitter conversation led to an email from the label's PR ... a lovely lass who happens to be my friend’s girlfriend (he's a lucky lad, that one) ... which contained a copy of the album ... an album I am very impressed with.

"Irrational" by Leonardo Suárez Jiménez aka Lozk makes for compelling listening. It is mostly instrumental in nature with a densely atmospheric and rather apocalyptic post-industrial vibe to it. I say post-industrial because there is so much more going on in the soundscapes presented ... haunting vocals, dense layers of synths, detailed percussion and heavy beats, sequencers, vocal samples, acoustic guitars, chunky electric guitars, loops, glitches ... than simply industrial. Lozk brings all these sounds together and makes something very special indeed.

There is a cinematic feel to this release ... as if it is the soundtrack to a film I haven't seen or a game I haven't played. In fact, it is the soundtrack to a game - "splinter cell: chaos theory" by Amon Tobin - that this album reminds me most of. It shares a dark atmosphere ... an omnipresent ominous feel that is wonderfully compelling ... especially when the backbeat is an energetic and driving one. It also shares a similar energy albeit Lozk is less glitchy and looped than Tobin's exemplary soundtrack ... and, dare I say, more structured and melodic.

Tracks like the opener - "Twilight Run" - create a vibrant atmosphere ... a dense and truly immersive experience ... one I found engaging and rather exciting, if I am honest.

We then have tracks such as "Aquarium" and "Time Hoist" that take this atmosphere and add some serious BPM ... they bringing out the more industrial leanings of Lozk ... and in doing so, create an almost frenetic vibe that is simply delicious.

Other tracks are more downtempo - "Echolalia" - for example. What this lacks in BPM, it makes up for in density and structure. The same goes for “Subterranea” and the closing track “DesPas Sur La Neige” ... they provide a respite from the movement of the other tracks on the release ... and demonstrate the breadth of Lozk’s musical ability.

What I really love is that Lozk records his own samples from objects he finds … sounds from the street, animals, and musical instruments. What really gets me is that songs like "Twilight Run""Aquarium", and "Requiem Machina" were made exclusively with only one instrument each (a vertical piano, a Spanish classical guitar, and the human voice respectively). That fascinates me … especially when I consider the standout track for me is the hauntingly beautiful "Requiem Machina".

"Requiem Machina" features some seriously eerie female vocals and a driving backbeat. It is track sums up the whole album for me. In addition to the effort put into it … the way the lyrics for the vocals was inspired too. Apparently, according to Lozk, the lyrics in "Requiem Machina" were inspired by Dadaist poets, who created their poems by cutting different words from a magazine or a newspaper … they would put them in a bag, select random words from the bag, and create their poems. The lyrics in this track were shaped using this same technique, albeit with single syllables, rather than words. For someone who loves Karl Jenkin's Adiemus … this is something I appreciate.

I cannot fault this release and am delighted to have been given the opportunity to listen to it. As I said above, it is not my usual cup-of-tea but I am delighted to Lozk’s particular blend to my collection ... I am proud say I now have a wider selection of tea to choose from.

“Irrational” by Lozk is released on Zube Records on 1st May, 2013.

I would highly recommend it ... especially if you like your music deeply atmospheric and driving.


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