Leifendeth’s EP Narrow Escapism combines a few new tracks with some remixes of some of his other work. It combines his signature dark and twisted style, full of nervousness, tension and even fear with remixes that take his material and sculpt it into different directions without losing what makes it unique to him.
The darkness is undeniable in Leifendeth’s work and it oozes from the patterns of twisting notes, the abyssal depths of the bass sounds that he uses and the tightly-wound high synths that slice into the music and ratchet up the feelings of tension that permeate many of the tracks.
There is also a hard energy to the music on Narrow Escapism. It is driven by the hard hitting drums that often pulse rapidly through the tracks along with beats that sometimes stutter and bounce, adding to the feeling of uncertainty and disequilibrium that contribute to the shadowed emotional tenor of many of Leifendeth’s pieces of music.
Sonic density is another aspect of Narrow Escapism that stood out to me. The tracks often weave together a tightly knit series of sound layers that all interact and move to produce more weight. Each element connects to the others and manages to produce a “wall of sound” that still allows a careful listener to pick out the different parts.
Remixes are intriguing to me because of the way in which they can reinterpret the source material. The remixes on Narrow Escapism add a more dance-y feel to the tracks that have been remixed. However, despite more dance floor friendly vibes, they don’t lose the heavy, twisted essence of the original pieces. In fact, in a sense, the thudding beats only emphasize that heaviness of the other musical elements.
My Favourite Tracks
“Narrow Escapism” created a feeling of chaos through the jangling patterns of twisting notes and the rapid, deep beat that thuds through the music. This is a propulsive track that really smacks the listener hard. There are repeating patterns of notes that feel devious and the overall sense that I got from this track is one of uncertainty, aggression and power.
The combination of a throbbing beat, harsh bass and growling synth sounds on “Reanimation Process” lends the sensation of the fabric of the music being torn into. There are oscillating synth lines that twist and turn in a disturbing way and the whole track has a rough-edged and glitchy feeling to it that adds to the feeling of something unsettling happening that lurks in this track. I also liked the drum’n’bass section for adding an element of aural interest.
Real Wilkinson’s remix “Narrow Escapism” adds more flow and drift to the original track along with a solidly throbbing, dance-floor friendly beat. There’s an oddly reverent feeling to elements of the track which provides an interesting contrast. There’s still a feeling of rising tension as the synths climb dramatically into a break before the beat hits again. I also found that the metallic clangs that Real Wilkinson used brought a further dimension of tense feeling to the track.
Ghost Panic’s remix of Parasomniac has a driving trance beat that filters through rough walls of sound to add to the darkness of the song’s lyrics. The track feels full of weight and ominous danger along with that pounding, hypnotic beat. There are hard bursts of slightly rough edged synth playing a rising pattern underneath the whispered lyrics. I enjoyed the darkly ethereal nature of some of the synth sounds that wound through the music. This is a track that exemplifies the layering that Leifendeth does in his music.
Narrow Escapism is an EP full of the twisting darkness that Leifendeth brings into his music. It explores rougher, harsher and deeper sounds along with conjuring up emotions that are disturbing and unsettling. It is still full of energy and the remixes explore other elements and potential directions that his music can take. All in all, I found the atmosphere and ambiance of the EP to be fairly enjoyable.