LHF Cities of Technology

LHF – ‘EP3: Cities Of Technology’ (Keysound Recordings)

LHF, or the Lion Heart Foundation, are notable for being standard-bearers of what dubstep arguably could have become. Since their inception, the shadowy collective have become renowned for their sprawling landscapes, taking the well-explored themes of atmosphere and space and expanding them onto cinematic levels. Their music feels like a soundtrack for the capital, masterful technique punctuated with hazy, extended samples taken from films and programmes such as The Wire. It seems natural, then, to release through Keysound, a label who are perhaps more synonymous with London than any other.

Their 3rd EP, ‘Cities Of Technology’, feels denser than it’s predecessors. One of the underlying roots of their technique lies with the percussion, and at times the amalgamation of elements feels like a well-crafted sculpture. ‘Essence Investigation’ holds this notion up well, the depth and quality noticeable immediately, and it deserves repeated listening to be fully appreciated. It borders on the grandiose, looming, eastern-inspired melodic lines contrasting with a sharp contemporary twist.

The myriad of sampling continues, ‘Supreme Architecture’ lifting a winding monologue from the final Matrix film. Frenetic percussion with deep, muffled synth stabs punctuate the musky atmosphere. It doesn’t feel as arresting however, with the track never really getting out if it’s starting gear. Double Helix redeems himself with ‘LDN’, a track that threatens to overwhelm. The beauty lies in its producer’s ability to retain that vital sense of sparseness and emptiness, despite the whirlwind of textures that penetrate the atmosphere. It’s the track of the EP, no doubt, and some of LHF’s best work yet.

‘Indian Street Slang’ returns to grander levels, heavily reliant upon Indian orchestral flairs and influences. It’s brave and interesting, although it’s power does wane as it wears on. With their extensive album due in April, ‘Cities Of Technology’ serves as a reminder of LHF’s unique position amongst artists today, and as always, warrants further investigation.

Seb Merhej

‘EP3: Cities Of Technology’ will be released on February 20 via Keysound Recordings.