As you gaze at the album cover and simultaneously stare into the soul of an obvious analog gear junkie, you’re looking at one of the most prolific producers out there. So prolific, that he previously released a 110 minute-long free album, entitled The TEAC Life.
With the sheer volume of material the man churns out each year, it’s easy to assume that the quality would only get watered down. Not so if this highly refined new album is anything to go by. Hague-based Danny Wolfers (the man of many monikers - 24 solo aliases including Legowelt, according to his Discogs page), graces us with some of the funkiest, most danceable offerings yet in The Paranormal Soul.
Channelling otherworldly “cosmic intuition”, Legowelt expertly conjures up some very sweet vintage synth sounds with his collection of analog equipment. Not to be dismissed as a mere exercise in nostalgia – there are nods to early techno, house, acid and rave (or as Legowelt puts it, “90’s weird English stuff from all over the place”) – the end product is decidedly modern.
Each track is full of idiosyncratic contradictions, drawing out varied interpretations. But it’s a formula, if you could call it that, that works. ‘I Only Move For You’, for example, mixes several elements: 303 acid lines, breaks, classic house swells and cosmic effects for an anthemic showdown.
And even for someone who isn’t a huge a fan of melodies, such as myself, Legowelt’s particular brand of melody-making clearly exhibits what seems like effortless mastery and a finely tuned ear for note progression. In ‘Rave Till Dawn’, ethereal synths glide over classic rave stabs and breakbeats, while ‘On the Tiger Train’ is all undulating, melodic early techno funk, before winding down to more glistening crystal notes.
‘Voice of Triumph’, another standout, is the least melodic track on the album. Suspenseful synth strings are drawn out over an otherwise relentless acid stomp, layered atop simple drum programming (something Legowelt isn’t too fussed about, but oddly delivers on this album). ‘To the Homeland’ is deeper, darker, chugging, with the acid played down by a mile here – a great way to end off an album or a set.
Clocking in at almost an hour, The Paranormal Soul provides an out-of-body experience that will teleport you from Detroit to early UK, to deep space and back. Back to the couch, or the dancefloor, for this is an album that just works either way.
01. Danger In The Air
02. Clap Yo Hands
03. Elements Of Houz Music
04. Rave Till Dawn
05. Sketches From Another Century
06. On The Tiger Train
07. Transformation Of The Universe
08. Voice Of Triumph
09. I Only Move For U
10. Renegade Of A New Age
11. A Cold Winters Day
12. To The Homeland