Though he's known best for his Magical Mistakes project, American ex-pat Erik Luebs has released his new Wasteland EP under his own name, on his own label. In Japan's second largest city, Osaka, he is part of a small but sturdy community of artists that make underground club music. His three-track experiment showcases an intimacy with electronica, techno and IDM that is, even the longest pieces, still surprisingly accessible.
On "Red C," drone and something resembling melody are hidden beneath an industrial beat that's relentless until the very end. A drummer first, Luebs buries synthetic keys under almost eight minutes of impressive percussion until the waters part and the underlying sounds and grit escape. Running through "Dust," the third track, feels like familiar territory, travelling on the same trail left by the opener. Soft keys are replaced with helicopter rotors here, covered up by a staggering beat that's punctuated by experimental blips.
All three tracks are enjoyable, though the first and last create a bookend effect that makes "Crashed" more memorable. A grimy tune, it's accompanied by chimes that beautify and then pause as the track builds to display its many layers. There is sustenance to be found in this Wasteland. (Perfect Touch)