Lando Kal – Rhythm Sektion review

Having suitably ripped up 2011 with his emergence as a solo artist (independent of the Lazer Sword production duo he shares with Low Limit), Lando Kal now finds his initial flurry of productivity settling into a more assured and steady trajectory of musical output, and the kind of music he’s making likewise reflects this settling down.

The release that really announced Lando Kal to the world was the Maneuver EP on Rush Hour, which saw a flurry of garage hype meeting with the crafty tendencies of his Lazer Sword offerings. There’s no denying it was a banger, but there’s not many artists who can sustain a career of longevity and substance on pure peak-time belters alone. As with many of his contemporaries, Kal’s tempo is slowing down to a housey one. The signs were there with the last EP he did for Hotflush, where “Further” lent itself to a -8 pitching on the turntable to sit nicely amongst mild-paced house cuts. Now his return to Scuba’s stable boasts two tracks that sit squarely in the purist 4/4 tempo range, no re-pitching required.

Fortunately, while every man and his formerly-garage-hungry dog might be making house music at the moment, there’s a genuine streak of originality to make this pair of jams stand out. “Rhythm Sektion” capitalises on a seductively modulated lead synth which sets the tone for a track that’s as creepy as it is pumping. There’s unsettling lifts from R&B vocals that give way to nervy stabs. It’s a track caught somewhere between a stalking warm up and deepest late night, carried off with production flair that lifts it above the rest.

“Inquisition” sports more of that ambiguous space in between moods, but this time shot through with a definite techno bent in its tumbling rhythms and punchy bottom end. The peaks and troughs are less about dancefloor fervour than mental trauma, yet still everything gets locked down with the immediacy that you would always associated with Kal’s music that has come before. Whatever the case or the context, these tracks are resolutely unique and teasing on the ears, and while there might be a lot of noises of a similar ilk being made right now, Lando Kal has the right amount of spice to make his music worthy of note.

Oli Warwick


Tracklisting:

1. Rhythm Sektion
2. Inquisition