Music

NEW MUSIC: Stream ‘Cinema of Soul,’ the Newest From Experimental Producer Lawrence Lindell #SoundCheck

May 12, 2015

Let me give you some context here. I’m in bed recovering from a collapsed lung and pleurisy (3rd time this year!) listening to the new Lawrence Lindell on my big AKG headphones. I’m taking Tramadol, which tends to have the effect of making me forgetful and spacey and doesn’t do nearly enough to mask the pain. I say this not to ask for your pity or sympathy, or to make this review all about me. Instead, I’d like to suggest that this might be the best possible environment to listen to Lawrence Lindell’s Cinema of Soul. I’m not saying you should go develop a chronic lung condition and take pain meds before you listen to this album, but if you’re already here with me, you don’t even know how much you need Cinema of Soul.

By Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK Contributor

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Over the past year, Lindell has quickly cemented himself as my favorite electronica composer. He’s an artist who follows in the Aphex Twin school of operating at extremes. It’s abrasive then immediately beautiful. It’s complex and incomprehensible before settling into a simple repetitive phrase. It’s dark and nihilistic, it’s playful and even funny in places. “Planted Seeds” picks up where his Magic Megaphone left off, carrying with it the same themes of organic machinery growing up out of the ground. Lindell’s spoken verse is buried deep in the mix, but snatches of words rise up through the muck. “Peace a word that could mean so much / But there can be no peace without respect, now what.” “Liberators” meanwhile injects a bit of Orbital-esque synths over an insistent bassline and conga beat. It’s hard to tell who or what is being liberated. But isn’t that always the way?

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The political world interjects itself into the music in surprising ways. Track titles like “New Masses” and “War of the Classes” suggest the disorientation and disconnection at the heart of modern society and modern technology. It’s easy to imagine yourself being plugged into the matrix, the glitches and mechanical beats filling your ears as you go under. This is the sound of becoming a machine, but unlike many a dystopian setting, it seems like Lindell actually comes down on the side of cybernetics. Sometimes I fantasize about abandoning my glitching body for something more mechanical and reliable. I’m pretty sure “Brains Unleashed” is what my brain will feel like. I’m pretty sure I’m ok with that.

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The 8 minute anthem that closes the record “Freedom to Live” finds the claustrophobia at the heart of Lindell’s music giving way to something approaching optimism. The track is the closest to anything danceable. I’m suddenly flashing back to mid-90’s arguments on Efnet #trax on IRC about the definition of the term Intelligent Dance Music with people I’d never met but who took strong stances about whether danceable is a compliment or an insult when it comes to electronica. I don’t care. The glimmering bells bounce and reflect like light on a shattered mirror. My brain feels like a stick of butter on the counter in mid July. It hurts an awful lot to breathe, but I think everything is going to be OK. I don’t remember the last hour, but I’m pretty sure Cinema of Soul is amazing.

You can pick it up on Bandcamp.

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