Lobisomem: Brightest Solids
Tall Corn

Careful not to get mired in any single genre, Brad Loving's Lobisomem dips its toes into dub, funk, hip-hop, techno, IDM and comes up sounding like an electronic, beat-focused amalgam of all. It's a mercurial music for sure, and even though faint connections to dance and IDM styles are audible, the music never extends so far into any direction that a conventional label is able to stick. Brightest Solids, which is actually the Chicagoan's second Lobisomem release, started out as laptop compositions that upon entering the studio underwent radical change when they were transferred to tape and finally to vinyl lacquer. Perhaps the heady range of sounds and styles can be acounted for by Loving's recent stays in Brazil, France, Japan, and Mali as well as his natural affinity for musical diversity.

Dubby snares fire echo like cannonballs in “Plasma Is For Lovers” while “Texas, Meniscus, Path Of Least Resistance” weaves churchy organ chords, roller-coaster Moog patterns, and downtempo head-nod into a heady brew. Beats drop out altogether during parts of “Church River Graffiti Knife,” leaving in their wake a reflective passage of highly illuminated synthetic design before drums stumble back in to relaxedly guide the track home. Some mutant strain of gamelan merges with bright tendrils of analogue synthesizers during “Dhegiha Group,” and “Chicago Metronomo” resembles some heavily electrified African dream sequence, or perhaps a sonic collision between a drum brigade and synthesizer enthusiasts. While a typical track meanders through multiple episodes, the fluid shifts between them keeps the material from sounding fragmented or collage-like. On the vinyl release, each side features three songs that tend to flow into one another, accentuating the meandering, shape-shifting style of the music all the more. One could conceivably describe Lobisomem's sound as suggestive of a somewhat conservative spin on Flying Lotus.

April 2010