Review: left_blank 002

We wrote about Left Blank back in May when they put out their first release, Vessel’s “Nylon Sunset EP”. Now they’re back with a split release/collaboration from Lorca and Visionist. There’s not much out there about either, as each lets their music do the talking. Lorca recently dropped a freebie remix of Zero 7’s “Home”, from 2004’s When It Falls, but but that’s about all I can find from either of them. No matter. Visionist opens the proceedings with “W.M.I.D.”, a track that flits between two modes – functional percussive banger and emotive rnb refix. Peppered with warm synths, it’s at turns frantic, frenetic and lush, a healthy 135 that’s laden with clicks and whirrs. That’s not even mentioning the exasperated call of “What must I do?” (the W.M.I.D. of the title) that floats in and out of the track at different octaves. Shit bangs and tugs at the heartstrings, expertly straddling the two modes on display. Next up is Lorca’s “Hold Back”, a slower jam that builds on a simple phrase of unresolved chords that leave you with a feeling of wistful yearning. It really seems like one of the most gorgeous tracks of the year, surely the highlight of this EP, with its aching lyrics and plaintive chords.

And then. The big shock of this release is the remix of “Hold Back” from 19-year-old Clown & Sunset artist Valentin Stip. The association itself is a badge of quality for those in the know, but any sense that he’s being riding Mr Jaar’s coattails are swiftly case aside as one listens to this gem. Stripping back and speeding up “Hold Back” (or drastically slowing down, depending on whether you thought the original was 150ish or 75ish), he’s turned taken this one into a whole different sphere. It really helps if you listen to the two together, for 10 minutes of beauty. If you remember that 90bpm jam from Canblaster called “Timemaster’s Chronicles”, this is like its dreamy, blissed-out cousin. Not for nothing bro, but it’s called the “Dream Away Remix” for a reason.

True heads will know this already, but XLR8R gave away “Slapstickk” last week. Like “W.M.I.D.” this combines raw percussive energy with lush rnb synths, not to mention chopped up fx and delightful dancing synths. In this sense Lorca and Visionist’s individual tracks mirror each other as they bookend the release, while their collaboration moves away from the club and into the headphones. You can cop the digital release at Boomkat or Turntablelab, and the wax drops next week. A solid release from this fledgling label, we can only hope that their standards stay this high in future.

LB002: Visonist / Lorca (Preview) – Forthcoming August 2011 by left_blank

Aidan Hanratty

Dublin ...