The marriage of electronic and improv-based music was inevitable from the start. The malleability of overtones provides a great platform for on-stage audibles. A lot of groups have used the modern synths to their advantage, although any music hobbyist who has played a synth can vouch for its complexity. Being able to find a good sound that is purely one’s own sound is difficult given the almost infinite parameters contained in modern synths. More so, being able to control those tones on the fly, whether in studio or on stage, is equally hard. Lord Electro, a budding electronic band from Albany, figures out a way to make their synth stand out as a staple lead tone by creating rich rhythmic grooves which fit like a puzzle piece underneath competent key lines with various changing characteristics. Their recent 10-track album, Reinvigorator, gives listeners a lot digest in terms of not only the content of each song, but the emotional arc the whole album follows.
Dan Gerken, Steve Mink and Jordan LeFleur make up the band, a trio that fills out a sound of a much larger outfit. One of their main catches, if you’re able to catch them live, is that they are an all-organic electronic group. The album reflects their ambition to remain an organic band. You can feel the chemistry on every track, with different parts within each composition lining up in sync to a level that sounds rehearsed but not computerized. Just about every piece on the album is a true dance track, staying in that sweet bpm range of 120-140. The seventh track, “Broken Glass,” features a more frenzied bass and drum line. The bass lines up almost perfectly with the bass drum accents to give the line a lot of weight, while the key parts mesh one piece providing the chord structure and rhythm while the other lead-synth part drives the melody and development of the song. This is a formula followed throughout much of the album. While this could be redundant, Lord Electro does a great job of varying even just the smallest pieces on a composition to keep it interesting.
A couple of the songs feature vocals too, whereas the rest is mainly instrumental with some background samples of different speeches or monologues related to the song. The vocal performances add a lot of texture to the album. While sparse, they are powerful and rich, relaying lyrical content that doesn’t delve too deep and provides more of a musing or reflection related to the song. On the eighth song, “Why Wait,” the vocals mirror the emotion of the tune, delivering an empowering message. The album follows a nice transitional arc too, with some tracks acting as a kind of anchor for the true sound and other tracks experimenting around that sound. This provides great variety, with every song feeling like a hard refresh. The ups and downs are in the grittiness of the bass line, or the beautiful melody of a synth lead.
Key Tracks: Reinvigorator, Butterfly, Why Wait