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Album Review
EP #1

EP #1
by Leno Lovecraft

A Low Hum

Review Date
7th March 2011
Reviewed by
Gareth Meade

Leno Lovecraft’s debut EP is an overtly luminous record, which follows a path well travelled by fellow A Low Hum alumni. Their obsession with the colourful sounds of keyboards and the familiarly claustrophobic confines of their bedrooms has resulted in a belief that anything is possible with the resources at their disposal. From start to finish EP #1 is especially indebted to Disasteradio, who along with Golden Axe is the flag bearer for this genre in New Zealand. Where Lovecraft differs from his forbearers is in his vision. His material, while less dense than his offshore counterparts, comes fully realised and with an agenda beyond getting from point A to point B.

Opener ‘Planet Sextron’ is a classic example, as it experiences peaks and troughs before really overflowing around the 2 minute mark. It has character and charm, but overall retains the theme of the EP, which appears to be unadulterated ecstasy. That’s not to say the EP avoids becoming generic, as there are sometimes only so many ways to say the same thing. ‘xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx’ strays the closest to this, plodding along to a repetitive beat, making it perhaps the most predictable effort here. ‘Claire and Cynthia’, on the other hand, feels like it’s destined for the same path before the drum beat decreases and a frolicking keyboard solo takes over, changing both the tempo and any preconceived notions of where the song was going to go.

An Italian disco influence is certainly felt throughout, just as Lovecraft would like you to recognise (the tags on his bandcamp page include ‘disco’, ‘glam’, ‘italo’ and ‘sex’). But even spin-off subgenre spacesynth (yes, that’s a real thing) gets a nod via the ecstatic ‘Cybernetic’. In the context of the EP, the album art and even Lovecraft’s pseudonym, that tendency towards the camp makes perfect sense. The overt sexuality is as much part of his mystic as, say, the helmets that Daft Punk wear. As long as it stays on the right side of gimmicky (which is a very, very fine line), there’s no reason not to buy into it wholeheartedly.

Over analysis aside, it’s easiest to just enjoy EP #1 for what it is; an orgiastic amalgam of spiky synthesisers, fiery falsetto and libidinous lead breaks. But most of all it’s a well crafted introduction to a man whose music seems ready for consumption by hedonists and dance floor enthusiasts alike.


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