Review: ^L_ – The Skull


Brazilian artist ^L_  delivers a massive EP on Berlin based label Antime Records, out on Bandcamp.

First let’s hear EP’s title track “THE SKULL”, a track that channels ^L_‘s personal turmoil into throbbing, convulsing beats combined with a dystopian atmosphere.

On his third solo release for the label and network ANTIME, Luis Fernando prepared something more complex, haunting sounds and hard techno. Both the title track and »Terror Turbo« pick up on conventional dance music tropes but twist and turn them until something entirely new emerges. It is music marked by a sense of destruction, alienation and dystopia, the themes that informed the making of the record. Dark and industrial sounds and intense beats will be perfect to hear in peak time at a club.

Brazil had already been in crisis before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the nation worse than other countries. It has been a time of loss for Fernando. »Suicide is a constant theme in my new compositions,« he says. The prolific producer inadvertently isolated himself more and more. He now describes this solitude as a time of great internal changes. »I became someone else,« he says, »a person who at times scares and frightens me, because during this period I slipped into a very strong depressive state.« This however also served as a source of inspiration for him. Having never painted before, he picked up the brush while he was not recording, creating a series of works that then inspired more music production. It’s only fitting then that one of those paintings was also chosen as the EP’s artwork. Taking its cues from artists such as Francis Bacon, it is both expressionistic and figurative—a literal skull—while also incredibly detailed and full of stark contrasts.

This is also mirrored in the music: »The Skull« opens with machine gun fire, explosions and what sounds like an emerging gabber beat, but instead of offering release becomes more and more intense. The track is intense, chaos-driven with a hard montage of sounds. As the seconds of the track pass, we can see the sonic image more clearly with an electro beat starring as the main character. Tracks still manage to end in a more ambient techno vibe.

»Terror Turbo« is a second original of the release and it’s here to make you sweat! It’s all the elements fitted properly with the right timing. A bouncing electro beat matches the intensity of the bass line while looped vocals are here to make a moment memorable. The hard-hitting bassline of this track is getting a darker twist as it’s powered by a nervous synth melody that is raising the energy level until … and the final touch is the saxophone solo.

Quizzik’s remix turns »Terror Turbo« into an IDM track with an interesting arrangement. Almost making it a new track, remix has even more twists and turns into the track. This intense and complex composition will be a special treat for the IDM fans.



Send this to a friend