Written By: Fletcher Bonin
On January 18, 2017 Lazerhawk released the album Dreamrider. This thirteen track composition is an education in the genre of electronica. Lazerhawk’s sound is sonic, with soaring synths, plunging bass rhythms, and an omnipotent tessellating pulse. Indeed, Dreamrider is all too accurate a description of this unique sound. All too often, electronic artists are merged into one two dimensional category. It is artists like Lazerhawk – and albums like Dreamrider – that challenge this oversimplification of the genre. And while I lump Lazerhawk into the category of electronica, this too is an injustice. While yes, Lazerhawk’s sound is predominantly and almost totally electronic, the vibe is eerily reminiscent of the genre’s originators such as Daft Punk. Only the best aspects of 80’s music permeate the tracks of Dreamrider.
The question for the uninitiated listener, of course, is when and why to listen to this strange outer space music. First the when: the easy answer is in the album’s title, that is, in your dreams. It is shimmery and intangible while maintaining a tantalizing vitality. This is the soundtrack to our subconscious, captured in thirteen tessellating tracks. Second is the why: this question proves slightly more challenging. Perhaps the better answer is actually a question, as in, why not? Quite simply, it’s beautiful and haunting and perhaps most importantly, it’s different.
The most popular song off the album is entitled ‘Feel the Rush Tonight’ and features fellow electronica artist GUNSHIP. It is no surprise that this track achieves mainstream popularity, as GUNSHIP provides the iridescent, shimmering vocals that the other tracks lack. This extra layer gives the song more texture, and further draws it’s resemblance to the likes of Daft Punk. But I see ‘Feel the Rush Tonight’ as Lazerhawk’s olive branch to the general public, an appeasing sacrifice of one track to the heathen mainstream in exchange for twelve tracks of their own value. The track is of course wondrous, but I suggest accessing your inner contrarian as you listen through the rest of the album.
It is on these twelve tracks that Lazerhawk channels the energies of joy, mystery, hope, frustration and so much more into pure music. It is music that captures the range of emotions through sound waves, pitches and frequencies. Dreamrider refuses the label of atmosphere music, and is too complex and multidimensional to be considered techno. It is somewhere perfectly in between, and even exists out of such spectrums with it’s unique, indefinable sound.