Ah, the chillz! Lenzman’s Earth Tones EP is out on his very own and brand new label, The North Quarter. The air in Amsterdam must be very thin indeed as this well enstablished producer from the Venice of the north releases a liquid EP so light it’s bound to soothe any pain.
It’s a six-shooter of flowing tunes, plus a half-tempoed reprise and two instrumental alternative versions for the grand finale. The whole EP is permeated with a jazzy feel that makes it so classy and elegant, with smooth pianos running around seventh chord progressions and creating hypnotic loops that sometimes border with psychedelia. The tracks stand straight on their feet made of present bass, which manages to never be overwhelming, and a constant flow of extremely light percussions, snares and hats where the only real punch is found in the kick drums. Drone-like pads draw a nice dreamy background on which the occasional vocal punchline pops out, stealing the thunder from the pianos for that fraction of a second and bringing on the action. There’s no lack of tunes where the voice is key though, like the gentle lines by Steo in Tender Love with that cathcy motif: so delicate! Or the pleasing dissonances in the voice of IAMDDB over In My Mind and its reprise; vocals are almost always ethereal and quite spacey. Park Hill is the dark one: minimalistic and tense, a dissonant track where the sound design on the bass is really brought forward compared to the other songs; it can be rather scary under the right mood.
Overall it’s an extremely pleasing listening experience and it shines the most when you need to relax or the opposite, when you have work to do, a project or something, and you want a soothing background music. 4 Jakes.
The North Quarter
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