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Son Lux





Son Lux comes out with "Tomorrows II"

It’s not easy to make a synthesizer or a sampler weep, or to make programmed/processed drums shudder in fright, but Son Lux has mastered these tricks alongside others--able to make their machines and their instruments breath and gasp and pant and sob. To be sure they also coax ecstasy, calm, and even hope (see "Prophesy" below) out of their gear, both electronic and organic, and from Ryan Lott’s choked-with-emotion voice. Son Lux may tend towards the melancholic but just as often these and other emotional colors are blended together to create new unnamed hues.

Maybe here it would help to consider the etymology of the word “emotion” (just nod along!) which is a combination of the Latin for “to move” and the Latin for “out.” Put these syllables together and it refers to “moving outside” or “going beyond” one’s normal boundaries, that is, transcendence. In the musical realm what better way to transcend this plane of existence and to "move beyond" than by entering a synthesized reality--a world we can more readily control (in theory, anyhow) and shape to mirror our own interior landscapes. One must wonder then where the popular notion comes from that regards electronic music as being automatically robotic, anti-human, and anti-emotional? Maybe Ted Nugent?

All the ways that Son Lux finds to weave together electronic and organic sounds--bringing distinctly human rhythms to the former, while frequently making the latter sound foreign in the true sense of the word--harkens back to what was arguably a golden age for these kinds of organic/synthetic synthesis as developed in the late 20th/early 21st century by artists like Bjork, Massive Attack and Radiohead.

Around a decade ago Son Lux took up this torch, or one of the torches at least, and hasn't dropped it since. Currently they're in the midst of releasing their most ambitious work to date: a trilogy of works starting with Tomorrows I put out earlier this year; continuing with Tomorrows II released a few days ago; and continuing soon with Tomorrows III. Or at least I assume that'll be the title unless there’s a serious misdirection at work here. Below you can check out a couple of more tracks from Tomorrows II, just try not to get too emotional. (Jason Lee)

photo credit: Lisa Wassmann

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