Fuzzy, crackling, sputtering kicks are the convention when it comes to lo-fi house music, and DJ Seinfeld’s “Time Spent Away From U” is no different. The Swede treats us to his first ever full length, wielding 90s break-beat, bouncing 4×4 and emotive samples.
The simple nature of lo-fi production shines through on this highly-anticipated LP. Rough, unembellished house thuds are a constant throughout Seinfeld’s debut album, running alongside RnB-inspired samples, acid wobbles and euphoric synths. The structure of the LP seems haphazard at first, though with time, Seinfeld’s scroll of art unravels beautifully. Among the swarm of bubble-popping house tones lies raw, pulsating emotion, stemming from Seinfeld’s recent breakup. ‘U Hold Me Without Touch’ and ‘Time Spent Away From U’ are intimate affairs through the artful melding of twinkling piano chords and nostalgic vocals. The highly sought-after track ‘U’ signals more of the same, and features an evocative and moving sample from a Bob Geldof interview, in which he speaks melancholically of the passing of his daughter, Peaches.
Heartache makes way for exultation as Seinfeld explores other avenues of emotion, using an influx of acid and breakbeat jams to create a classic house sound prevalent on tracks ‘How U Make Me Feel’ and ‘Too Late For U’. Seinfeld’s ability to homogenise a host of emotions whilst simultaneously feeding the listener’s energy is a testament to his status as one of the pioneers of the lo-fi scene. Coming from a family of classical musicians, it is no surprise that Seinfeld has become a musical heavyweight in his own right; and the LP’s biggest celebration is that each track exudes an aura of purposefulness and place, as opposed to having an identity forced upon them. However, the variety of feeling and emotion espoused by this album is undermined in some areas of production – the 4×4 portions are delivered incessantly throughout the LP, and the lack of diversity in this regard somewhat undercuts the effect of ingenious sampling.
Whilst “Time Spent Away From U” lacks an occasional change of direction, let it be clear that this LP is far from being flat. In his best work to date, DJ Seinfeld creates a unique atmosphere of yearning, reflection and sincerity in this long-awaited record.
You can order it here.