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Lukas Boysen: Golden Times I (Erased Tapes)

Lukas Boysen originally made a name for himself under the dark IDM
moniker Hecq, but he’s been just as active in the last few years
under his own birth name. Golden Times I, released on Erased
Tapes, really highlights his talents as a composer and player, with
the title track built largely around a constantly undulating and
changing series of piano broken chords. The melancholy viola that
appears as an additional layer gives it the same elegance of
Digitonal or Nils Frahm while a toothier electronic arrangement grows
in scale from behind. Its extended arc gives it plenty of roam to
evolve and expand to great effect, eventually fading into a wash of
thick fog as a drum kit thunders away in the distance. The track
appeared on Boysen’s 2016 album Spells, but it’s backed up with
“Evensong,” an exclusive track very much in the same vein, even
more dramatic with the taut texture of its low bowed arrangement, a
nice counterpoint to Boysen’s delicate piano. Like “Golden Times
I,” his composition is a constantly wandering and evolving series
of chords, always feeling somehow familiar and yet adventurous in its
constant movement toward a new changeup that makes sense. It doesn’t
have the same dynamic range of the title cut, but instead feels more
intimate, claustrophobic even.

Golden Times I by Ben Lukas Boysen

Max Cooper delivers a rock solid remix
of “Golden Times I” that showcases his talents in the best of
ways. The two are a really natural complement to one another, and
Cooper anchors the arrangement with a 4/4 kick and more lush techno
and electronic underpinnings. I especially like how he layers
sequenced cymbals over the mix to reflect Boysen’s original crashes
that are so far in the distance in the original. Even as it reaches
its denouement, the way that Cooper devolves the signal of certain
tracks into digital distortion and crackle is masterful. Tim Hecker
turns in the other remix, a take on “Nocturne 4” from Spells.
While the original again focuses on the piano and a big rock
arrangement around it eventually, Hecker instead opts for a beguiling
mix of prepared piano, bending synth swirls and a skippy, glitchy
synth lead that sputters like a beat repeater gone awry. It’s not so
far off from Hecker’s own Love Streams album from 2016, easily his
weirdest and most off kilter sounding effort to date. It’s a clever
obfuscation of the original’s cinematic bombast, losing its
heavy-handed drum kit and big loud-soft contrasts for something more
slippery and detuned. What it lacks in drama from the original it
makes up for in texture and timbre. Recommended listening all around.

Buy it: Bandcamp