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Tuesday
Nov202012

Legowelt - The Paranormal Soul

Clone

It’s tough trying to keep up with Danny Wolfers, and his dizzying number of releases across a baffling array of aliases. I have it on good authority that you can use his metronomic release cycle as a primitive calendar for the planning of regular chores: washing your car, or cutting your toenails.

That said, the Legowelt name is saved for when Wolfers rigs up his possibly subterranean jungle studio to produce his deepest, most classic-sounding tracks. And after last year’s incredible free opus The TEAC Life, and several releases so far this year (a personal highlight: the Trackman Lafonte & Bonquiqui release on L.I.E.S.), it would be rude to expect more, surely? Of course not.

As evidenced in The Paranormal Soul, the 2012 Legowelt vintage is as fruity and full-bodied as ever, once again pulling together jack trax and deep techno with the eternal backdrop of Chicago, Detroit and The Hague, and this time perhaps a stronger influence from proto-rave bass and bleeps. At its core though, the violently anti-violence speech from FBI Agent Albert Rosenfield that starts the album is still a metaphor for the whole Legowelt sound; a melodic velvet fist in a slamming iron glove.

So, “Danger In The Air” is on one hand warm and introspective, on the other a body-pumping warehouse mover. “Clap Yo Hands” exhorts us to do just that, while really expecting heads down. And “Elements Of Houz Music” is a rougher, tougher, awesome variant of the new-school Mr Fingers sound pushed so successfully by the likes of Tevo Howard. It could go on forever and it still wouldn’t be long enough.

“Rave Till Dawn” is a little unexpected but almost as successful, the spirit of warehouse bleep techno resurrected with a real live breakbeat, Todd Terry drums and a warbling Italo top line. Then, though “Sketches From Another Century” keeps the bleeps, the LP gradually shifts gear into a more psychedelic Motor City vibe, sparkling through “On The Tiger Train” and the more driving but still delicate “Transformation Of The Universe”.

“Voice Of Triumph” is perhaps the most relentlessly techno cut on the album, followed by “I Only Move For U”, which is perhaps the least - an almost US garage swing with more acid licks and space melodies. The magic? Either would destroy a dancefloor.

The final track is “Renegade Of A New Age”, slower and even deeper with “Sueno Latino” jungle sounds bubbling in and out of the mix. And… the unsurprising twist is that for Legowelt, four sides of vinyl is not enough, and a bonus 10” contains a further two tracks, near-chiptune number “A Cold Winter’s Day”, and the breakbeat led “To The Homeland”, linked by a comparatively icy feel when set against the album proper.

If Legowelt ever made a duff track, then maybe the insane work ethic would seem like a bad idea. But he seems incapable of messing up, and the subtle shifts within the boundaries of the sound are what keeps the music fresh and all of us coming back, again. And again. And again.
Sam Stagg

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