Out of the excellent urban expansion 'Islands' that followed the slightly scatter-shot world bass movement 'Sebenza', the LV unit scoff at the security blanket of laurels. LV's Simon Williams and Will Horrocks are offering back-to-mine vibes and elements of soundsystem grit, but posted to a South London art school, instrumentally poetic and getting found sounds to flip the notion of keeping it real. In keeping the best elements of their previous successes under wraps, attention turns to an Armenian pianist overtaking the vocal add-ons of regular co-conspirator Joshua Idehen.
'Ruiselede' gives an immediate heads-up as to LV's latest about-turn, the entrance of said ivory tinkler Tigran Hamasyan a working fit not always playing to the people LV have invited to hang out after hours. 'Hammers and Roses' really tackles the album's idea of fusion – bassy, butch, but with fleet-fingered jazz pianos furnishing its own VIP section, and 'Balance Spring' shows the sort of genuine sincerity you wish some of the other piano pieces would show, all while retaining a dubstep/bass sub-plot.
These low-end relatives carry on into 'Transition', post-dubstep that has much more colour than your average with its layers of scrambled bass; and 'Dansaertstraat' achieving maximalism on the low. Completely out of keeping with the vibe is the (actually very cool) house scat 'Jump And Reach' bluffing past the freehanded installations that provide calm in their own ruffled way.
For the applause LV deserve for the regularity of their rulebook updates, 'Dar Souiri', an experimental horror meme, is one scrap of electronic synthesis that seems coerced into the album's sequence as a makeweight. Moments of vibrancy, sullenness and blocks of personal concertos nudge 'Ancient Mechanisms' from pillar-to-post, to garner polite applause from the gallery, if not massive cheers from the rafters.
Words: Matt Oliver
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