The first thing I noticed when listening to the first track on Land Equivalents’ new album Good Morning was the drums. They sound like a tight jazz kit that was covered in a hall reverb that you might hear Four Tet sample on his next album. It’s not that unexpected since Jim Musgrave, the man behind this project, is also a drummer for Belbury Poly. This four-song EP has a variety of electronic and organic sounding kits but is also full of synths. Some are fat, others buzz, some are warm but anyway you look at it there are a lot of them and they have this vintage 70’s feel to them. If I were a betting man I would say most of them are hardware but these days the emulations are so good I can barely tell the difference. At its most basic this is good electronic music. A lot of the beats are 4/4 and don't change much because I think Musgrave is trying to draw most of your attention to the interplay of different tones of the synths. In fact, I'm sure it would be entertaining just listening to the synths since at times I couldn't keep track of how many I was listening to,
Not only was I digging the sound of the drums on the first song “Good Morning” but I was also enjoying the distant sounding guitars. They sound cool in the background amongst the strong lead synths that were almost too loud at times. The song does something cool at around the two-minute mark. It completely breaks down and sounds like he took a Low Pass Filter and removed almost all the high frequencies. I wish he had experimented with this breakdown longer. No worries though as the song becomes equally as interesting as he starts layering more and more synths together towards the end. “Gold Mind” has a cool sounding bass line if you can pay attention amidst the intertwining synths. The electronic drums are upfront but aren't the star in the show here. I was really digging the arpeggiated synths on “Burton’s Nap”. This one had a bit of an 8-bit meets hip-hop vibe that I was fine with. It was a pretty fun song to geek out to. Musgrave saves the best for last with “The Programme Occurs After This Utterance.” The song doesn't seem content with itself as it constantly shifts and morphs, not staying on one thing for very long. It was a fun way to end the journey and it felt a bit like walking into a fun house.
Good Morning is a solid album. It is in no means groundbreaking but it is a lot of fun and makes good use of the synthesizer’s capabilities.
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