Lorenz Lepus‘ latest forthcoming release on Schakal Recordings showcases a bold emerging talent. The four-track “Feral Child” includes two original compositions and two remixes:
- Feral Child
- Feral Child (Floyd Lavine Dubman Remix)
- Feral Child (VII Circle Remix)
The title track coalesces from dub influences with a deep bass groove. A melodic line takes us into a more involved bass instrumentation, atop of which nestles a morose piano. Once the beat hits, the instruments recede only for a moment, rebounding with more assertion several bars later. The groove starts to build, the pieces placed in the right places all along now slotting in harmonious tension. The mix is sparse, with reverberant percussion ping-ponging in stereo. The piano returns with a more hopeful tone, and is given space to articulate before the rhythm section propels us forward again.
As might be conjectured from the above, the track just works. It straddles itself in a tasteful middle ground, drawing from dub, house, and chill flavors. When the song winds down, a double bass hit emphasizing consecutive bars underscores the wet high-cut percussive hits.
“Lost” is minimal territory, as misty ambient loops swim around a four-on-the-floor beat. This tension exists through the first minute of the song, after which a bass relieves it, though only partially. There’s a beautiful sense of restraint on the track, one that keeps the tension, one in which we’re unsure whether the cloudy air will clear. A new element enters four and a half minutes into the track, a vibrating synth placed low in the mix, the last bit of velocity that takes us out.
Floyd Lavine’s remix utilizes the double melody that comes later in the original track right up front, combining bass notes that emphasize each downbeat. These subtle touches increase the track’s menace, centering it on the beat as opposed to a wash of musical elements as in the original. A ringing sound effect above, and subtle vocal samples way down in the mix have been added, suggesting a live performance in a quiet cafe. The piano becomes reduced to several key passages, entering and exiting as only a reminder, a suggestion, of the melodic line largely subsumed by this remix.
The VII Circle remix of “Feral Child,” on the other hand, goes for the straight club route, injecting even more darkness and a hell of a lot more bass right into its first bars. A bass pad alternates octave notes as wisps of the original piano fade out of the murk. If Lepus’ original strove for a kind of bleak serenity, VII Circle’s goes straight into those uncharted, uncertain waters. It’s only when the majority of the song breaks down at around the five-minute mark that the song’s underlying dark swamp is revealed. This kind of exciting, impressive stuff from such a young producer surely forecasts even better stuff in the future.
Feral Child is out October 13th on Schakal Recordings. For now, listen to some of Lepus’ recent cuts: