Lenzman: Golden Age EP

Lenzman's fabulous debut album Looking At The Stars appeared about a year-and-a-half ago, and, perhaps conscious of how high a bar he had set himself, Dutch producer Teije van Vliet has taken his time crafting his first collection of original work since the album's release (if you missed it, Lenzman himself contributed a full track-by-track account of the album here). None other than dBridge described Looking At The Stars as “something that sounds mature and accomplished from start to finish, something that many could learn from,” and much the same also could be said about the new EP.

Golden Age features six artful drum'n'bass tracks, two of them digital bonuses and one presented in two slightly different versions; it's largely a solo undertaking, too, although contributions do come from Dan Stezo, Steo, and Forren. Lenzman's soulful sound is well-served by these ultra-polished cuts, all of which hew to the high production standard of the album. In the opening “Got My Mind Made Up,” van Vliet casts an entrancing spell by threading a soulful male vocal and a sultry synth figure into a piano-sprinkled arrangement; par for the Lenzman course, there's groove aplenty but elegance and taste, too.

The first version of “Golden Age” features vocalist Steo soulfully emoting over a lightspeed gallop; the digital bonus treatment supplements Steo with a gravelly MC turn by Dan Stezo for an even more satisfying take on the tune. Forren's involvement on “Never Enough” does nothing to lessen the seductive allure of Lenzman's swoon-worthy sound, while the EP's heaviest hitter is clearly “Homie Don't Play That,” a muscular roller that roars with conviction. It's early in the year, but Golden Age already sets an inordinately high standard for other 2016 EPs to match. Let's hope it's not the last new material we hear from van Vliet before the year's out.

February 2016