This album was inspired by one of the greatest ever scenarios in which to listen to music: driving around a large sparkling city at night. Lonely Lights by Millimetrik is appropriately synth-driven, with metronomic drums driving the sound always forwards. Very cinematic: lonely, as the title declares, but also beautiful.
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The sparkly imagery and introspective feeling of driving around a city at night is undoubtedly a favourite of electronic musicians, so much so that it even has its own blog. I guess that the big beats of dancier music have a lot in common with the badassery associated with rolling a chunk of metal over some dark tarmac. This has definitely taken the heart of Canadian producer Pascal Asselin, who has devoted his latest album Lonely Lights to the cause.
Apparently it was inspired by “an unnamed Asian megalopolis”, so anywhere from Pakistan to Japan then? Sigh. Anyway, it’s a heavily synth house laden CD, covering the same region of polished melodic hip-hop, 4 to the floor grooves and broken beat as producers such as Pretty Lights, occasionally leaning into dub techno (‘Et Si Demain Ne Venait Jamais’). It’s all very downtempo, and definitely fits the solo nighttime listening bill. As it’s 4pm and I’m in a brightly lit office, it’s hardly going to have the same effect this time round. A lot of the chords and drum samples are fairly predictable, which is ultimately the album’s downfall. Tracks such as ‘La Fabrique Des Impossibles’ push the harmonic envelope, reminiscent of Lone on a post-coffee slump.
Maybe I’m just disappointed that there isn’t enough distortion, but there IS such a thing as safe electronic music, which is a shame considering its power and possibility as an artistic medium. I don’t think that Mr. Asselin has nearly added enough possible mutations of his sonic arsenal to keep this reviewer’s attention for long enough. That being said, it’s still an alright bit of synthbeat that probably needs to be blasted on the ol’ car stereo to be fully appreciated.
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