Vancouver’s house scene caught fire off the back of a specific sound – a bittersweet strain of house that played with dance music history in a stoned haze, ushering in new labels such as 1080p and Mood Hut. While the local scene continues to offer riches, it’s worth noting that one of its most hyped musicians, Lnrdcroy, isn’t easily pigeonholed into the area’s signature sound.
The producer’s debut album, Much Less Normal, received massive acclaim for its nostalgic tint and bared emotions, seeming to look back wistfully to a more optimistic time, both in life and in music. It was sketched in clean, bright lines, yet Lnrdcroy’s subsequent work has refused to repeat the same trick. He’s drawn praise for his immense live sets, each different from the last, and it’s from this live tradition that his latest EP Ooze City is drawn, offering three extended club jams draped in fine atmospherics and heavy-lidded grooves.
The title track could almost be mistaken for techno, beetling into earshot with a taut bassline and piston kicks. Yet despite the mechanical rhythm and grimey licks of acid it’s not an intense affair, mining darker textures but never breaking a sweat. The yawning ambient wash that drifts over the second half of the track only increases this sense of disassociation from the dancefloor – an eyes-down groove set in some distant greyscale dimension. This misty quality passes on to Aquabus (Plaza of Nations Dub), whose gentle pace and loose drumwork evokes a nightclub in Atlantis.
In typical style, Lnrdcroy saves the best for last. Kali Yuga is a psychedelic house roller, its sampled chants and rattling tribal drums contending with syrupy synthwork primed for club meditation. These three exploratory epics show the Canadian producer still on top form, making the most of his long track lengths and subtle dynamics with bewitching results.