REVIEW Lehar ‘Picture: Lehar’ [Diynamic Music]

Lehar clearly knows his way around a studio, and by extension, our hearts. Cycling through tempos and keys, harmonies and melodies, he has provided us with a snapshot, a picture if you will, of what one cannot put into words. Released by an appropriately named label, Diynamic, this LP contains just that – a full range of volume and sound that puts the soul in music.

The intro track, ‘Dream, possibly the most subdued track on the album, is just that. A soft track, full of rounded beats and arching string sounds, it lulls us and soothes us and draws out feelings we didn’t know we had. It emanates a tone of ambiguity, a feeling of possibilities, upon which we can take in any direction. Gentle string-sounding synths sigh in the background, swelling up in a brilliant crescendo, and tapering down in a humble diminuendo while the shimmering final melody ends things.

Already with a strong start, ‘Declaration’ not only preserves unifying elements of the LP like the full-bodied rhythm pattern and fairly up-beat feel, it also strays away from the norm with the inclusion of vocals. The track has a very club vibe with ornate drums and smooth shakers, as well as its lengthy breakdown and drop.

The R.E.M. Phase’ plays to our darker, more melancholic side in the style of the British band R.E.M that is known for their melo-pop influenced music. With softer beats, and more subdued melodies, the track certainly won’t put you to sleep, but it may be what’s floating around in your subconscious during the night – our most restful period of the day.

The following track, already a favourite in the music world, is a favourite for a reason. Metrotango begins on a flat bed of bass 32-nd notes, the multi-directional melodies dance. Setting the stage for a perfect club-vibe, the bass notes remain a constant throughout the track. A fantastic, grandiose melody dips in and out, all the while nicely contrasted with the relentless, forever driving bass rhythm. A twinkling, arpeggiated melody enters simultaneously with a stabbing, almost monotone pattern, dipping only at the end of the 8-beat pattern, all to the tempo of the bass notes. After a brief interlude of bassless bars our quench for the beat is satisfied.

Dance of the Last Man’ begins with a strong rhythm and a galloping synth line, and manages to maintain its momentum until the last bars. Emphasis on the weak beat highlights the trotting, forward nature of the track, and contrasts the single legato-notes that enter later. A sharper melody is introduced on top of all other elements – three rising tones, falling a note each time and ending with a slow trill. Beginning the third and final portion of the track we hear drums and cymbals, marking the exit of most background elements, save the galloping rhythm, which stays until the end.

Finally, the LP must come to an end. The fitting closer, ‘The Last Track’ certainly lives up to its name. A multitude of cushioning background sounds pad the outer layers of this track, and a pleasing, simple melody rocks back and forth between two notes, mesmerizing us. And in case we aren’t ready to call it quits, harp-sounding synth notes bid us adieu.

Lehar’s ‘Picture: Lehar’ LP was released on October 13th, 2017 on Diynamic. (Tess)

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