"Leisure Time" C57
(Crash Symbols)

Estonian synth-psych beatmaker, genre-blender, and all-around goodtimes-provider Luurel Varas finally serves up nearly an hour’s worth of even-keeled neck-waving soundtrackage for the bad-ass Crash Symbols label, and it’s pretty much perfect for zoning out, computer work, and/or barbequing. While listening (on repeat), whenever I’ve let the music fade to the backburner of my mind (doing something besides focusing on the various, rich layers) I’ve consistently ended up feeling transported back to A Tribe Called Quest’s hey-day, feeling those grooving, jazzy themes all over again, but this time with a more subtle, texture-driven bent (via synthesizer manipulation) that gives this release a quality not yet explored (exploited?) just yet. At other times, I’ve felt Bill Leeb’s remote presence, recalling ethereal atmospheres reminiscent of turn of the century Delerium (think “Karma” or “Poem”), and all of these things are not only good, but pretty great, especially since one genre’s flavor doesn’t get the spotlight for too long.  Tape is nearly sold out already (and rightly so), so keep an eye out at your local shop.

-- Jacob An Kittenplan