Lostep: Because We Can
Global Underground

Lostep's (Melbourne producer Luke Chable and DJ/producer Phil K) seventy-minute travelogue Because We Can is very deliberate in its sequencing, with the first six tracks more experimental and atmospheric in style (though two of them total a mere minute and a half) before the second half kicks in with dancier material.

Burbling electronic noise simulates awakening in “6AM Sedna” to initiate the disc before a swaying breakbeat in “Theme from a Fairytale” jolts the listener awake. Accompanied by fluttery textures, deep synth bass, and a softly glimmering melody, the tune is more forceful and mechanistic than the opener but atmospheric nonetheless, especially during its closing dub-inflected episode. Just when one is ready to conclude that opening pieces like “Construction of a Deep Space Station,” a brief soundscape of whirrs and woozy clatter, merely constitute a reasonably interesting setup for the storm ahead, the widescreen “Naughty” drops, a writhing shuffle crowned by blistered bass synth lines and a filthy vibe. Better yet, the tech-house groover “Because We Can” alternates a fuzzy bass line with a belching synth squeal so shamelessly twisted it's ridiculous. All of which primes the listener for the relentless broil of club cuts like “Little Peaking” and the breathless tribal epic “Dr King's Surgery” that, notwithstanding the ambient soundscape “Shortcut to Granuland,” dominate the second half. The album builds to a storming close with the raucous psycho-trance of the ten-minute “Burma” and “Villain” before expiring with the bleepy fragment “Family Tennis.”

May 2006