If you put your thumb on the heartbeat of electronic music, you’d be forced to believe that bigger is better. More is more is more. Maximalism is the new and only book. This is true to a certain extent. Rustie’s Glass Swords might have been the pinnacle of the all or nothing disposition, but an innumerable amount of styles have bloomed over the last calendar year. Take Lone’s Galaxy Garden for example. The album is maximalist in every sense of the word, synthesizer heavy, borrowing from dozens of sources, etc., but has a distinctly clean and organized demeanor compared to the day-glo frenzy of Rustie. Abderdeen native and founder of Tuff Wax Lockah occupies a unique place in the contemporary maximalist landscape. Initially, I thought he fit into the Rustie/Hudson Mohawke camp and he does in some manners. The effusive crescendos, sweeping keys and nods to Southern hip hop all recall the LuckyMe members.
But then I started to see more Lone. Lockah takes the amphetamine driven energy of Rustie and simmers it down to a cool state. It isn’t as much make party music as it is music for the drive home. It’s optimistic in an excitingly overt manner. Take “The Sour Drink From The Ocean” for example. It’s not an easy task to make Southern rap percussion sound pensive and measured, but that’s exactly what Lockah does. The track soars with each synth wash, borrowing heavily from the trance of yore, without falling into cliche as the vocals repeat the same epithet over and over again. This is some dramatic, roll credits shit. Luckily for all of us, Lockah’s new EP, When U Stop Feeling Like A Weirdo & Become A Threat, will be released on Mad Decent’s Jeffree’s imprint (who have been absolutely untouchable lately ) on June 14 for free. In the meantime, stream “The Sour Drink From The Ocean” below and head over to XLR8R for a free download.