Land are an Italian band creating down-tempo electronic music and songs that come through seemingly inspired by Depeche Mode and Massive Attack alike – the former perhaps more prominently on the opening and title track.
The ambiance on this first song has a certain smoothness and delicate bounce to it, there are plenty of bass-heavy tones and the rhythm has the hypnotic qualities of any well-produced dance track. On top of this, the leading voice really drives that 80’s feel along. The song is intriguing and conceptually interesting, the melody is simple and fits the mood of the ambiance well. You quickly settle into the feel of the music and this sets the scene pretty perfectly for the rest of the project.
Dream7 takes things in something of a more characterful direction. The bass-line, the beat, and indeed the leading voice, all offer something distinctly unique – spacious and fresh, still slightly nostalgic but undoubtedly new at the same time. There’s more clarity here, the words feel closer to the surface, the soundscape appears scattered with additional elements that help it evolve into something of a relevantly dream-like arena. This track quickly becomes an early highlight, the beat is refreshingly creative and the words provoke deep thought. As the intensity rises, gradually and consistently, your mood and energy levels follow along.
It just happened leads with its concept above all else. The story-line is introduced in a mysterious way – It meant nothing to me – and the music proceeds to pour a certain fusion of darkness and rhythm into the room. The instrumentation is brilliant here, partly retro, partly wandering off into new territories. The emotional presence is powerful – the honesty, that human touch. It makes the music connect more genuinely.
After experiencing these songs in their original settings, their intended designs, the project also comes with a few alternative versions. Behind the scene (elektro-funk rework) feels like a completely different song, the opening vocal is laid surprisingly bare and vulnerable within the mix, and the music that follows offers a combination of retro gaming sounds, samples and effects, and something notably more modern-day-EDM. The build-up and the rising energy is brilliantly colourful and fully immersive – as great escapism should be.
Dream7 (motorik mix) holds tight to the core ideas of the original but veers off in something of an experimentally creative direction. The track is spacious yet simultaneously complex with its light layers of detail. The lyrics of the song stand a little taller in this version, the words create the mood much more than the ambiance in this case. Both work well in their own rights.
It just happened (mix 2) sees the pace pick up significantly. The beat feels fit for the dead of night, those relentlessly energizing moments when you should perhaps be sleeping, but you just can’t. Those after-party sessions that let the mind continue wandering off into the atmosphere. This one makes for a personal highlight of the whole collection for its concept, its emotion and its musicality combined. It hits with impact and satisfies with its drops and development.
Behind the scene (I.T.L. mix) brings the EP to a close with all of the above floating out as a united wave. The energy, the weight, the thickness, the distortion, the retro and the fresh, the manic and the calm, the emotion, the gaming sounds, the structure, the experimentation. The song progresses in a constantly captivating way, creating a buzz around you but also seeking to impress and motivate with its changing pace, its detail, and its ongoing expressiveness. Another highlight and the perfect way to finish the collection.