For years now Lenzman has been up there with the best; since his debut on BCee’s Spearhead records, the Amsterdam based producer of Liquid gold has produced wonder tracks to the awe of the majority of people in the scene.
His latest release has hit the stores to critical acclaim; the much anticipated LP “Bobby” sees Lenzman delve deeper into not just liquid territory, but Metalheadz territory while fusing in his legendary sound.
So without further ado, let’s explore this album from top to bottom.
To kick off this 16 track Album, “Artic Berry” draws a base of foley sounds, atmospherics and gorgeous piano chords on which Lenzman will draw a spactacular sonic picture through the album. This track does everything an introduction needs to do and more; a musical build of beauty and sonic temptation whet the palette.
Two words. Explosive Breakbeat. The second track on the album, Cool Breeze, certainly delivers much more than a gorgeous powerful break however. Subtle reversed piano hooks combine with delicate male vocals to create a superb track; a Lenzman trademark. Cool Breeze is a repetitive, hypnotic concoction of liquid DnB, but is driven by variants in both synthesis and bass; a powerful thumping sub that gives sonic harmony to what is a solid tune.
Rain (feat. Children Of Zeus)
Rain is the track on this album, a certified banger that appeared as a single prior to the album to whet the appetite. Boy has it.
This isn’t the first time that the world of drum and bass has come into contact with Children Of Zeus (they collaborated with DnB legend DRS on their debut album) and therefore it’s no surprise that their uncontainable talent has spilled into DnB territory again. This time however, CoZ add their rhythmic lyrical content to a track that feels more at home in a jazz club than a rave. Yet while jazzy seventh and ninth chords (theory geeks, you know what I’m on about) riddle the track, they combine beautiful with the mastery that only Lenzman can bring to create this excellent piece of fusion.
Okay, time to delve deeper, this time to a chilled roller. “Misty” shows another side to Lenzman’s creative psyche; an acknowledgment that not ever track needs to hammer home, this mastery adds depth and scope to this album. With that ever present piano offset with murky sub rumbles, this track plods along with atmospherics that stimulate contemplation.
Hollis (Over Over)
Verdict; smooth. Lenzman takes things back and cleverly acknowledges his roots with “Hollis (Over Over)”. In fact, this track holds reminiscent vibes of “In My Mind” feat. IAMDDB that was released on The North Quarter, Lenzman’s own label, a year ago. Not only does this prove that Lenzman uses a tried and tested technique of writing, as well as producing tracks to the highest degree, but solidifies that he is the true ruler of his own sound which is something many producers can claim with certainty. This is a talent within itself.
Stop in your tracks, here’s one for those of you who love a solid break older than many in the scene today! While Lenzman is known nailing his drum breaks, “Roseland” really hits home with a different flavour; an old school break combined with an unpolished repetitive piano and filtered horns and undeniable amounts of delay, this one is a tranquil and glossy instrumental that fits alongside the best that the 90s had to offer. “Roseland” is a true gem that is not worthy of even the best liquid set in the world.
Pictures Of You (feat. DRS)
Another single that was a prologue to “Bobby”, DRS and Lenzman join forces to create the second rap riddled DnB track on this album. Yet while DRS’ talent is most portrayed spitting bars over rolling drums, he owns the hook to this song that holds relation to every one of its listeners; “You see the lengths that we go to for love”. Powerful doesn’t even begin to describe the effect of DRS’ songwriting, and it is safe to say he has done this track justice.
Blu Life (feat. Artificial Intelligence)
Fun was clearly had from both collaborators on this one. The founders of Integral Records and legends, Artificial Intelligence, do more than lend a helping hand on this piece; they help sculpt a vibe that links both artistic personalities in one track. A strong upright bass underpins weightless keys and an offbeat break to allow lilting strings and a vocal sample hook to roam free.
Noodles (feat. LSB)
One trivial thing that becomes apparent in this album is “doesn’t Lenzman work well with collaborators”, and this is certainly something worthy of showcasing on “Bobby”.
The forth collaborator on the album, fellow Spearhead signee LSB, lends his knowledge and sound to a track that has a very unique spin. With eastern strings taking the fore, uplifting atmospherics sculpt this track to provide a refreshing flavour to the album.
Wow, this is gorgeous. “My Heart” feels like it has been transported in time to appear in 2019 where it truly belongs back in the good old days. Indeed, it is a nod to the days of Good Lookin and early CIA, and proves not that rejuvenation of sounds is a fashionable statement, but rather that in acknowledging the power of old school dnb it remains something that has a beauty and will not be forgotten. What a compliment then that this track should appear as a gem in not just Lenzman’s crown, but in Metalheadz’ too. Expect pedal pads, synths that breathe and the most soulful yet understated complimentary vocal samples.
What an album. Lenzman has done justice to his creativity and to his artistic vision. He has proven in this album that he has scoured the depths of production, collaboration, atmospherics and even time itself to bring an LP full of far more than just music. And boy, has he smashed it.
If you want to enjoy this album as much as I have, you can support both Lenzman and Metalheadz here;