Eatbrain League mainstay, Bulgarian artist L 33, was steadily releasing throughout the pandemic but took a bit of a production break this year. Like quite a few artists when 2022 saw the final and official opening of nightlive and festivals again, L 33 took to touring with his neurobuds, hitting the festival circuit hard in Europe all summer and fall, with no signs of stopping in winter.
He didn’t release nothing this year either. With big tunes on RAM’s Riot II and Eatbrain’s Divergence IV compilations and a dual single on German underground label UTM Records, L 33 kept the rollers rolling even with all the shows. That said, it’s past time for another L 33 multitrack. Enter: the Lifeforms EP, due to drop this coming Monday, November 7.
A thematic continuation of last year’s Hero EP, the tracks on Lifeforms are driven by L 33’s signature crunchy, scrambled synths and paired with chill, semi minimal yet extra syncopated snares. The downbeats are also sort of light and airy – not something you hear often in neurofunk – but that’s what makes the afore-mentioned crunchy synths crunch so hard.
On tracks like “Resonator” and the title track, the beat pattern provides an almost jump up structure which gives more power to both the synths and the crazy atmospherics, while on “Fuck Up,” the minimal beat gives way to some spinning snare ornamentation, making the track seem fast and full but belying its complexity.
“Hold Em Down,” the EP’s opener, stands out from the other tracks not so much in form but in function. With synths that are a little more melodic than crunchy, high-pitched phrase ornaments and more space in the sound design than the three others, “Hold Em Down” has a jazzy, ravey feel. It’s sort of a neurofunk pallette cleanser before listeners are droped into the really deep stuff. There are a lot of surprises on the EP, but L 33 and “jazzy” going together might be one of the biggest.
With a fall/winter release season that will be packed with epic releases from re-energized artists, L 33’s Lifeforms EP is the first of many on Eatbrain’s winter catalog that will keep the party going through the cold months. After all, with a label whose motto is “no neuro, no party,” we can expect nothing less.
Lifeforms drops Monday, November 7 on Eatbrain. Pre-order on Beatport here.