Review: Lhasa – The Attic (House)

This review covers the house track Lhasa – The Attic.

This track was released in 1990 along with two other tracks.

The track starts with a simple synth melody. This is joined by a 303 synth. Shortly after, an additional synth pad is added. The kick then joins in to build up the track. After this, a bassline is added. After this, a drum kit is added.

From there, the track breaks down, leaving the kick, synth pads, and an additional synth melody. After this, the synth melody picks up with an additional synth layered into the synth.

At this point, the track pulls back again with just a kick and synth melody. The track introduced a synthesized voice which makes a brief appearance. From there, some synth pads return and a synth effect is added.

The track pulls back and leaves only a few elements including the synth effect. The effect disappears for a moment before the track pulls back much more, further exposing the effect. At this point, the track starts to build up briefly with the synth pads before the kick pulls away. After that, the track simply ends with the last element or two stopping.

One thing I do like is the concept of layering here. This track demonstrates how you can execute great flow simply by pulling back or bringing forward certain elements. To bring one particular element forward, you don’t necessarily have to make that element louder. Instead, pulling back other elements can do the trick nicely. You can constantly introduce new elements to the track to add a sense of progression and still make the whole track work. In fact, this track juggles things nicely in a way that new elements are exposed nicely and adds a lot to the track.

Of course, there is actually type types of layering I could here in this track. The first is just introducing and pulling back elements as I described already. The second kind of layering is much more subtle. Two synths can be played at the exact same time with the exact same notes. Sometimes, the second synth adds a bit of texture to help change the first synth in an interesting way. What I like is the fact that the layering here is executed simply by pulling one synth forward and back rather than using complex filters which is used more often in more modern music. This track shows that simple can also sound great, so this also gets a thumbs up from me.

What I will say, though, is that this track does something that does make me cringe a little. Part way through, the synthetic voice simply says the name of the track. It is only brief, but it is there. I personally think the track didn’t need to have that thrown in. It reminds me of stores plastering bar codes right in the middle of pictures. An example is someones face on the front of a video game box. I know the face of a character may or may not be important, but it just makes the product look unnecessarily tacky and annoying. That’s the same kind of annoyance I get with a sample that is just plastered in the middle to punctuate the title of the track.

Having said that, I think this is a pretty solid track. It takes basic techniques and executes them very nicely. It utilizes two layering techniques and uses them to execute great flow and progression. While the synth voice may be a bit tacky, this is otherwise a very solid track.


Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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