Between the poles in culture of Los Angeles and Berlin, the electronic producer LAUTMALR composes an album full of songs that explore the spaces in between the glamour and all-night parties, dwelling in the abandoned strip malls just outside of the shadow of the neon metropolis. “Chasing Past” the eponymous single from LAUTMALR’s debut album, follows this motif. Subtle ambient pads give way to backwards synth lines, bubbling arpeggios and sparse percussion that perfectly encapsulate the nighttime uber home from a party, serotonin depleted, head against the cold glass contemplating all of the houses with their lights off – wondering what kind of lives are happening within that you will never be permitted to see. These private thoughts, wrung through this public facing document are the dark spaces between the streetlights as they fly past. Even when the track finds its propulsive feet under it, “Chasing Past” still seems to dwell in melancholy – the percussion swinging a bit faster but still leading the same location.
Musically “Chasing Past” is situated somewhere between synthwave revivalism and classic ambient electronic music. A meeting in the middle between Com Truise and Wolfgang Voigt. Arpeggios are focused and centered around 70’s komische rock while the buzzing synths and reverb heavy percussion sound as if they are slowed down from an 80’s sci-fi movie that has already come to grips that humanity is destined to go down with the ship of hyper-capitalist, technology assisted suicide. It’s an intoxicating mix that picks up right around the 4 minute mark to introduce elements of deep house – a call to a dancefloor warped by rain and choked on confetti. We tend to use words like “cinematic” to describe LAUTMALR’s music, but really it is the movies that play behind our eyelids that keep our ears glued to “Chasing Past”.