Four years after the release of his debut album, Valeen Hope, Loden, a Brussels-based producer, gives us his sophomore effort. While his first album tended towards a slower ambient atmosphere, Loden has come back with a second album that is much more immediate in its impact, bringing the focus on beats that wasn’t really there on the first record. It’s hard to pin this record down, as it brings in elements of hip hop, dubstep, house, disco, new wave, glitch, and other genres. It’s one of the few records I would describe by naming Prefuse 73 and New Order as influences, if that gives you any ideas.
The short intro of “New The” has a playfulness with sounds pulled from vintage records that places him nicely alongside label mate Daedelus. This transitions into “Twerk,” which is some glitch-hop at its finest, as a menacing beat jaggedly pushes forward and different keyboard lines play against each other. The album keeps shifting moods and genres, but things tend to stay upbeat and fun. While the musical elements are constantly changing, it never gets so dense or jarring that you’ll get lost or grow impatient. Everything is enjoyable and even a little danceable on the first listen. At the same time, there are plenty of things to unpack and appreciate upon repeated listens, which is why I think this album will have some staying power.
If Loden had stayed the course from Valeen Hope, it would have been fine, but there are only so many directions that music can go. With Buggy, Loden has widened his musical vocabulary and challenged all of us. He’s given us an inventive album that successfully navigates through multiple genres and gives us a coherent, interesting record. I have a feeling this is an album that we’ll be talking about further down the line as people discover it.
|Title:||Loden - Buggy|