For an artist the best way to master one’s craft is to work at it incessantly. This is something The Editor, aka Dearborn Michigan native Ali-Jah Chahrour knows all too well. Since March of 2014 the now Indiana based experimental electronic producer has released ten albums. His tenth, the ultra-ambient Lost is his most recent. The Editor started out aiming to produce electronic music exclusively in the vaporwave genre, but soon began to branch out into different styles inspired by bands such as Massive Attack, Oneohtrix Point Never and Little People amongst others.
There was however another reason each of the tracks on Lost began to take on their own meanings and genres. It was because each of the tracks had stemmed from different instances of Chahrour’s life during their composition. As Chahrour put it the tracks were written and recorded during a nomadic period in his life when things were "less than pleasant."
Lost opens with the seven-minute slow building “Clockwork // Idle Hands.” Vibraphone pricks, recalling the sounds of a Japanese Koto play along through the forefront as violin induced synths hover in and out of the background. Together the sounds invoke the track’s title of hands slowly moving around the face of a clock. There is a seamless transition into the catchy calliope sounding “Alley Cat // The Traveler,” which then morphs into the dark and melodic “The Desert.”
At the halfway point of Lost is “Return // Forsaken [Interlude]” with its slow rolling reverb and ghostly echoes. This is followed by the slightly more upbeat “Glass Eye,” a swirling of Casio keyboard melodies mixed with a hip hop inspired backing beat. “Hard Reset // New Beginning,” also does its best to sound more uplifting with its light and airy synths, trap beats and blitzes of bright samples.
With its quiet ambience pervading just about every track, Lost seems in the end like a rather ironic title because The Editor never wanders far from the ambient path he sets out on at the beginning of Lost. Each track sounds much like a different shade of the former and each dreamlike melody seems an extension of the last one. Lost does contain some very good tracks and some clever titles, but it lacks diversity and in this day and digital age of music making, diversity is key.
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