At just 22 years old, Welsh producer Lung already has an impressive CV of music under his belt. Bringing an eclectic, melodic melting pot of sounds to the d&b tempo, he was signed to Hospital sister label Med School, a label who’s deep, mellow output we’ve been really enjoying, early in his career and has since been carving out a reputation of undeniable quality and reliability, collaborating with musical giants such as High Contrast along the way. However, next monday (September 16th) sees him leap to an as yet unreached stepping stone, that of the solo album.
While the crux of electronic music, and the downfall of many of it’s artists, seems to be an overzealous need to release as many tunes as quickly as possible, he’s crafted and honed his output carefully and Wait Less Suspense has no doubt benefited from his calculated, detailed approach to music. A fourteen track release, it’s sound is firmly rooted in the 170 tempo and yet digresses through garage, house and experimental sounds for an hour of music that’s much more than simply an album of DJ tools, but a finely tuned journey through the variations of Lungs high definition musical vision.
From the funk fueled synth melodies and dubby bassline of Curiosity Cove to the atmospheric jungle raindrops and tranquil plucked melodies of the outro Too Cold to Start a Fire, it’s an album not afraid to toy with it’s own sound, taking you through euphoric moments to hypnotizing calm. Even among searing synths and punching beats, there’s always an element of serene beauty waiting to be found, lurking in the twinkling pianos of the otherwise rough, junglist sounds of Starving Artiste and the cinematic breakdown between the pulsating bass line of Ghosts With Skin.
Adding to Lungs production prowess and extraordinary vision are a talented list of collaborators, both in terms of vocalists and fellow producers, that top off the albums varied nature. Welsh vocalist Rachel K Collier quickly steals your ears in the introduction with wistful, goose-bump inducing vocals over the playful melody and soft atmospherics of Time Just Gets Away From Us, fully finding her stride later in the tune as it opens out on it’s drop and she erupts into a powerful hook. She once again demonstrates her prowess over the opening lazy break of Open Palms, that later morphs into a fast jungle roller seemingly slowed down in a beautiful juxtaposition with her un-rushed vocals. Floating dubstep/house master Phaeleh also helps out on production here for an incredibly intricate track that slows down and speeds up as it travels through melody after melody, showingcasing not only production expertise but also the duo’s knack for songwriting.
Meanwhile, Tiiu’s vocals on the third track Stars, Hide Your Fires! are my personal farourite, weaving a criss cross thatch of layered, smoothly echoing vocals over a garage influenced break and rising pads for a haunting track that simply oozes class. Lung chops them up alongside drum rolls post breakdown to devastating effect before cutting out to near silence and letting the track drop back into it’s silky self. However , that’s not to say that indie/folk duo Paper Aeroplanes don’t give her a close run for her money on In Bloom, another garage influenced track where an effortlessly catchy melody and infectiously head nodding break bounce underneath their uplifting tones. Finally, Ukranian d&b talent Sunchase finishes off the feature list, adding his fine ear to perhaps the albums darkest track, Heaven’s Mirror. A quick break with a beautiful snare paces through it’s introduction before being joined by a hefty kick, spacey atmospheres and looming synth stabs as it builds to an exceptional piece of straight up deep d&b where drum edits and intricate synths keep it interesting as it rolls through.
Wait Less Suspense is an album that proves not only Lung’s production ability, something we were already well aware of, but also that he is an accomplished song writer and craftsman of music, trancending the world of cut and paste DJ tools into one where the album is still a sacred art form to be devoured in it’s entirety. The sole inclusion of female vocalists gives it a refined aesthetic that works perfectly with his soulful, melody fueled sound. However, those vocal features are never over-prescribed and instead come as unexpected surprises in an album where the music is allowed to do most of the talking for itself.
Despite it’s wide range of influences, deviations in tempo and dips between the dark and the light, it shows an accomplished sound that’s distinctively Lungs and refuses to move with the current trends or be influenced by external forces. In my opinion, electronic music needs more carefully crafted, well thought out albums like this and, despite his relative inexperience, Lung sets a benchmark to be admired with an impressively sophisticated take on d&b. You can stream Wait Less Suspense in it’s entirety below or head over to the Hospital shop to pre-order the MP3 for a special price of £4.99 (also available on wax).