Barcelona based trio Lasers first appeared with their debut album ‘Juno’ on the Irregular label in 2012. ‘Juno’ provided hints that Lasers were shaking the hand of dreampop and slapping the back of experimental electro, but reserving their warmest embrace for minimal house.
This is now a fait accompli with the release of their new album ‘Exchange Levels’, an album full of music to wander around and through. The immersion may lie in the endless Spanish skies and pourable sunshine of compulsive dance opener ‘…Roof Down’, or it may lie in the robust downtempo, floor destroyer, ‘Bird Feeder’, replete with flamenco style percussive clicks. In either case Lasers focus their efforts on maximising the minimal.
Minimalism is best explored by the heavily looped piano chords of ‘Alex Eardrum’, the bounce bass line of house party room filler ‘Come Over’ and the endlessly spiralling ‘Dimensions’, laden with late 80’s memorabilia, right down to the female vocal sample admonishing us to “Cooome On!”. Meanwhile, ‘As You Want’ samples a sharp inhalation of breath to depict a pupil dilating pinpoint in time; the accoutrements a house slanted bass line, cowbell percussion and arpegiatted synth.
The crowning glory of the album however is the collaboration with Merche Blasco on the synthpop sympathiser ‘Weightless’. Opposite ends of the spectrum are developed; zesty electronic sprinklings combined with rich bass tones to form the perfect platform on which Blasco gently unreels the softest of vocals. The beauty of this song is that it is so open. ‘Weightless’ feels genuinely liberating.
‘Exchange Levels’ conveys passion despite the simplified approach to production. From within its cool clean delineations, Exchange Levels presents music that will attract house aficionados to a suitably entranced dance floor, whilst reminding those with an ear for subdued synthpop that Lasers have a renewed enthusiasm for old friends.
This review first appeared in Issue 2 of Electronic Sound, a new magazine dedicated to electronic music past and present, with a diverse mix of genres and an eye for emerging talent. Grab your copy here: http://electronicsound.co.uk/
Photo kind permission Jordi Castells