Thursday marked the release of one of our most anticipated LPs of the year – Human Research by Lockjaw. Self-released on his label Locked Concept, the Australian producer delivers an admirable performance spanning ambient, DnB, and even Techno.
Establishing yourself as one of the most technically gifted producers of a generation is no mean feat. But Lockjaw has done almost precisely that with this album.
The Weight of Light makes for a dramatic opening statement. Atmospheric effects, a menacing analogue bass riff, and layered dissonant chords and arpeggios set the listener up for what is sure to be a wild ride. A much gentler sound is approached in the title track Human Research, the second name on this LP. Layered Neuro pads and a simple introductory drum pattern, as the drop adopts a jungle-inspired syncopated rhythm in Neuro form. This track is equally unnerving, mystifying, and danceable.
The rest of Human Research is marked by much more contrast: take the fifth track, Options. This track moves beyond boundaries of DnB, and is a fully fledged heavy techno behemoth, incorporating some Bass House elements. A true signifier of Lockjaw’s creative ability. Without You, a personal favourite of mine from Human Research, captures oldschool elements within a thoroughly modern Neuro production. Rave-like piano riffs and a 4 to the floor snare pattern in the drop capture the contrast of this LP in one magnificent track. This is followed by a Neuro-Liquid hybrid, Changes. Tight snare work, fluid basslines, and ethereal vocals make this another standout track of the LP. Two ambient tracks sandwich another liquid tune which you may recognise from the sampler, Velveteen, and the return to Neuro with Second Chance. The LP drifts away with the twelfth and final track, and aptly titled ambient work The Space Between Us.
This is an album which Lockjaw weaves in his unique experimental style whilst never sacrificing a sense of musical direction. He rarely sets a foot wrong, and with even more development it is easy to see Lockjaw becoming the next Phace or Mefjus. This album shows that he is a producer with a lot of potential, and we can be very excited for what he has in store for us next…
Give the album a listen on Spotify below.