Last year, Venezuelan producer Arca made waves when he released a solo record after working with the likes of FKA twigs, Kanye West, and Hudson Mohawke.
In a similar pattern, Carlson (first name Al) drops his debut solo record Never Easy Never Been Easier this Tuesday via Driftless Recordings. An added zinger is that Carlson — who operates as Lazer Sound Creative — actually mastered Arca’s &&&&& (2013). He’s also engineered in studio for scores of others in the last 10 years, including St. Vincent’s Marry Me (2007), Zola Jesus’s Versions (2013), Lady Gaga’s Born This Way (2011), Peaking Light’s Lucifer (2012).
Never Easy Never Been Easier was sequenced in Nicaragua “during a surf/recording project” upon falling victim to the sounds from never-ending beach parties. As a result, the record stretches infinitely to the horizon – each of its six tracks flows seamlessly into the next, creating a continuous loop of minimal house just shy of 40 minutes long.
Without a way of distinguishing one track from the next, the record moves in sinusoidal waves at a constant 120BPM. Synth washes in and out, aided by miscellaneous additional percussion, all rather unpredictably. Listening too closely in anticipation of variant ideas can be rather mind-numbing, but at a distance, Never Easy Never Been Easier will keep you moving. It’s dance floor ready, as is Carlson, who is expected to embark on a tour in support of the record before long. Hear a cut below.
Article by Joanna Jiang