Much Less Normal is one of the best surprises I’ve experienced in months. I’d never even heard of Lnrdcroy a few weeks ago, and now I’m desperately hoping he releases new material. This is dreamy electronic music of the highest order.
This album splices galactic house music with the radio telescope atmosphere of early Warp records. It’s bursting with enthusiasm, distracted by a naive sense of genre boundaries that makes for a refreshingly free-roaming listen. These tracks are expansive, warm, and welcoming. The gauzy beats make for a soft landing after a night out, plying the liminal space between head nods and dream time.
Lnrdcroy – a remix of the artist’s real name, Leonard Campbell – originally released Much Less Normal on cassette via 1080p Collection in 2014. Somehow, I completely overlooked it until this month. The label consistently drops some of the most enigmatic and addictive music I’ve heard over the past few years, so it came as a shock to realize I’d been missing out on something so perfectly tailored to my tastes.
Much Less Normal supposedly paints an impression of Vancouver and the surrounding natural environments of British Columbia, colored with laconic synth pads from gear like the Roland JV-1080 and JD-800. I’ve never been, but I believe it. A grand sense of warm synth ambience and quietly uplifting melody is matched by sprinkles of Yamaha drum programming and playful MPC dancing.
At its core, this album is a sun-dazed take on deep house, all warm daydream glow instead of pent-up club energy. The textures tell a weird story that evokes the library wonk of Boards of Canada and Aphex Twin‘s analog synth fireworks on Selected Ambient Works while never breaking narrative coherence. Everything locks into place, tonally, throughout 55 minutes of blissful drift.
Every song on the album reflects a unique facet of the music, so I chose this track as an introduction because of the dreamy fan-made visuals. It’s called I Met You On BC Ferries: