Christian Löffler: York (2020Vision)
From the opening piano patterns of “York,” this latest single from Christian Löffler immediately evokes the same kind of fragile beauty found in the tracks on his previous two albums. It rests comfortably in between dance music and something far more intimate and tender, with a tendency to focus on melancholy and delicate patterns and sounds. Something I’ve always enjoyed about Löffler’s music is his ability to infuse his drum programming with a three dimensionality that feels familiar and non-electronic; presumably, he’s sampling everyday objects to get some of these more physical but small sounds that suggest the realness of their sources instead of the more typical tried and true drum machine soundkit. About halfway through, it all fades to let a gorgeous string section take center stage. It continues to evolve, bringing back the dancefloor underpinnings but with an additional layer of delicate sparkle.
“Lhotse” starts off even more delicately, before vocals and chimes enter the picture and indeed reveal it to be a dancefloor track as well, with a more sparse and sedate arrangement before it evolves into something a little prettier, more lush. “Nordkap” splits the difference then, with a more propulsive bass kick and a faster clip, with xylophone patterns that give it a vibrance and livelier disposition. I’m curious if these point toward a third album soon, and whether these will be reprised there or stand alone here. Either way, well worth a listen, especially for fans of the more understated, sadder side of dance music.