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2LP version. "Antaeus Roy (aka Lando Kal) and Bryant Rutledge (aka Low Limit) aka Lazer Sword teamed up with Modeselektor's Monkeytown imprint for their second full-length release. In 2012, the seasoned artists now find themselves living on separate continents, as Roy now calls Berlin home while Rutledge has settled in Los Angeles. Making music requires online collaboration and the accommodation of wildly different time zones, but they've soldiered on and teamed up with Monkeytown to put together Memory, an accomplished 11-track effort that is, without a doubt, the best thing Lazer Sword has ever done. Memory may not be a complete departure from Lazer Sword's earlier work, but those looking for the slapping hip-hop beats and crunked-up vibes that defined the group's past releases may be surprised to find that Roy and Rutledge have seriously trimmed the fat while simultaneously expanding their sonic palette. This is a sleeker, sexier version of Lazer Sword, one that takes cues from '80s electro, Detroit techno, and various brands of UK futurism. Yes, there is still plenty of low-end, but the duo's thick bass tones now serve as a jumping-off point rather than a tool to bash you over the head. Some tunes on Memory -- namely the woozily psychedelic "Sky Burial" and the hauntingly intense synth workout "Out The Door" -- don't have any beats at all. That said, the heart of Lazer Sword still resides in the club, and Memory is anything but short on tracks geared for the dancefloor. With its beefed-up take on classic electro and sultry vocal bits, "Missed A Spot" has all the makings of an anthem. "Sounds Sane" sounds just as good as it did when it was released as a single in late 2011. Taking cues from juke and footwork, "Toldyall" uniquely combines rolling toms and rapid-fire percussion with moody pads and unorthodox melodies, while "Pleasure Zone" offers an infectiously mutated brand of '80s freestyle. Memory also finds Lazer Sword involving a couple of their friends in the production process. Jimmy Edgar steps in with some of his infamous robotic sex vibes on "Let's Work," a song that gets down and dirty over a slow techno pulse. The remarkably prolific Machinedrum also makes an appearance, sharing some of his frenetic energy on "CHSEN," one of the album's more hyperactive jams. That said, it pales in comparison to the madness-inducing "Point Of Return," a track that channels Detroit while unleashing a dizzy array of swirling pads, twisted vocal snippets, and tweaky synth melodies. "Better From U" adds angular synths and stabbing percussion to a moody UK garage framework, while "People" is more upbeat, but no less complex, as Lazer Sword wraps Memory on a meditative note, marrying a metronome-like rhythm with a pensive array of vintage sounds and videogame-inspired melodies. In making this album, Roy and Rutledge remembered that something special happens whenever the two come together to make music; after hearing Memory, that fact is something the rest of us won't soon forget.
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