new music: lawrence lindell’s ‘eclectic frequencies’ is the bold new record experimental electronica has been waiting for. #soundcheck

March 19, 2014

Since the earliest experiments with electronic music in the 1920’s, pioneers have made giant promises about the bold directions music could take. But like the internet—the great sum of human knowledge—functioning primarily as a medium to transmit cat pictures, electronic music has more often been a source for anonymously interchangeable dance music. There are a million David Guettas for every Pierre Schaeffer. Humans are awesome at squandering our intellectual heritage on some bullshit. So anytime I have the opportunity to hear electronic music that actually pushes the boundaries instead of reinforcing them, I consider myself lucky. That’s the case on Lawrence Lindell’s latest record Eclectic Frequencies.

By Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK Contributor

Combining the abrasive DnB inflected beats of Aphex Twin with Flying Lotus’ gift for beautiful atmosphere, Lindell’s music is truly unique. While he’s happy to get noisy, as on the ecstatically glitchy “From the Womb,” it’s used in a way that’s incredibly musical. These kinds of noise-loops can easily get self-indulgent, but even the modem noises come off as composed. It isn’t until track 5, the IDM throwback “Putting Down Roots” that anything related to a dance beat turns up, and here it’s in service of a completely deconstructed 4 note piano loop. (and is that the sound of the Star Trek red alert in the background?) The level of detail and meticulous construction in Lindell’s deconstruction is the stuff of commercially unsuccessful but critically adored careers.

If the first half of the album is all rain soaked atmosphere and melted moody beats, the second half can only be described as playful. SNES bleeps get the sample and hold treatment on “We’re the Odd Ones.” It’s the sound of your childhood being left out in the sun a little too long. On “Erratic Pendulum,” Lindell evokes the late great J Dilla before devolving into a mess of static and fuzz. The album closes out with the sine wave jam “My Piece of Mind.” It calls to mind Aphex Twin at his best. Beautiful but just on the edge of aggressive, impossibly complex but melodically simple, nostalgic but still optimistic. This may only be Lawrence Lindell’s second album, but the young producer seems to have more to say than just about anyone else on the electronica scene right now.

* Lawrence Lindell’s label Noise met Sound: