Lush Logic, Ohn, and Loren Dent

Digi-pak

Digital tools have greatly facilitated certain musical forms. Three fresh local examples span instrumental, vocal pop, and ambient. Funky Down Tronic (Real Summit), the debut of Austin's Lush Logic (aka Jake Scarbrough), has three goals: funk, downtempo, and electronic. The last is easy, as few analog sounds appear in 10 cuts, though given the disc's limited BPM range, same-tempo is more tag-worthy than downtempo. A far cry from the Meters' funk, Big Easy beats still inspire the strongest cut, "Molly's Groove." Well-recorded and mixed, the material doesn't command attention – "The Clock Is Ticking" hits like electro Windham Hill – better suited perhaps to support onscreen action. On their third release, Revolutionary Revolution (Ill Dough), Austin's OHN collective blends programmed beats with analog instruments and Allison Scharf's vocals. Results: hit/miss. The Beatles' "Dear Prudence" is pretty but bland. Scharf is blessed with a lovely timbre, so why all the processing ("Be With Me," "Big Lie")? Still, when vocals lead, like the Sade-esque "These Politics," and live instrumentation pokes through, OHN's formula works. Getting glacial with downtempo is Austin's Loren Dent, who on Empires and Milk (Contract Killers), his second, evokes Brian Eno's ambient work. "Shoot the Piano Player" hits like Eno's Apollo, and the opening title track is a study in epic subtlety. Like a good novel, digesting all 15 chapters takes a spell, but the nuance makes it worthwhile.

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