Lost Arcade has had a prolific first year of activity, they’ve managed to release a string of EPs and now release their debut LP, Origin, made up of ten tracks where they display their knack for both rhythm and melody, as well as a knowledgeable approach to crafting and producing club bangers with soul. The Brazilian duo made up of Felipe Callado and Ryan Papa, comes from a decade-long background of DJing, also running a record label, turning their eye to producing in 2020 under the Lost Arcade moniker, creating tracks that mix the expansiveness of progressive house with the more melodic elements of house and techno. Combined with an air-tight producing style, they have already established a defined sound, which they explore throughout the length of Origin, revealing some truly remarkable moments and a versatile touch in its 10-cut collection.
Lost Arcade start things right with the anthemic ‘Rose Moon’, a previously released track that, alongside its B-side (and final cut of the album) ‘Aldebaran’, bookends the new music of the LP, which put things in perspective and offer a sense of the evolution of the duo in terms of composition and arrangement. Full of the by-now familiar style of Lost Arcade (pulsating bass and driving beats topped off by an onslaught of melody and emotion), ‘Rose Moon’ is a proper gateway to the rest of the album’s groove-filled tracks.
The intensity of the opening track dissipates as ‘Bad Seed’ smooths things over and brings a cool vibe thanks to its laid-back groove, soothing pads, and echoing percussion, making its way with a lovely chiming melody riding aloft, until the breakdown uncovers a shimmering pattern of stabs filling up the spaces left by the softer dynamics of the track.
The third cut, ‘Holding On’, takes full advantage of Lost Arcade’s progressive sound which, when interwoven with guest vocalist Matt Young’s haunting voice, becomes a bonafide club anthem, bristling with pumped-up energy and a widely-appealing melody. A track that shows great care in its crafting, which pays off in the form of a crisp, mature production sure to stand out in any set.
Although seemingly mechanical at first sight, the following track ‘Selena’ turns into an emotional, deeply-moving affair thanks to its combination of nervous synth patterns and shifting melodies, with a faster pace that helps it build up its intensity even further. Still, there’s space for breathing thanks to a sparse production and soft pads framing the edges of the cut.
Next down the line is ‘The Ones You Love’, bringing down the tempo for an airy, spacious breather with flourishing strings and splashes of a piano melody, working sort of like a palate cleanser between the more club-oriented tracks. Nevertheless, it has a flavor of its own, thanks to an effective use of the space created by the slower, pulsating groove, adding hints of melody and topped off by the brief appearance of a beautiful female voice that brings it all home and wraps up this pretty little ditty.
Back up the BPM ladder, the next cut ‘Little Sister’ gives a deceptive air of chillness, but beneath the floating synths and voices is a rock-solid rhythm section, with booming bass and lively percussion that give the song an uplifting, yet powerful, vibe, which by the track’s final third, makes you realize that it’s shed its initial chilled-out skin and it’s embedded itself deeply into your mind and feet with an undeniable groove.
‘Rush’, the seventh track, is another showpiece for the LP, with a flawless performance by Cassandra Braslin, who holds her own against the enveloping melodies, delivering her lines with a decisiveness that cuts through the thick, grumbling bass, coming across still as clear as an unmuddied lake. This collaboration results in a very complete production that would not sound out of place either in small, underground events or in larger festivals (although we’re currently devoid of both due to circumstances not worth repeating).
Next up is ‘Jupiter’, which lives up to its name with its spacey echoes and otherworldly synths, arranged in a way that’s still able to make you shake your hip and lose yourself in the music. Another melodic house/techno cracker that has Lost Arcade’s touch all over it: fat, pumping bass, trippy synths and effects, and an earworm of a melody hard to shake out after the song has ended.
As the title, and next-to-last, cut, we could say that ‘Origin’ encompasses the LP´s vibe (even in broken-beat form) by bringing familiar elements together in a way that feels fresh, thanks to Lost Arcade’s dynamic production. Being the second track on the LP that is not on a 4×4 beat pattern, it serves as another example of the duo’s versatility and know-how with regard to electronic dance music.
Finally, ‘Aldebaran’ closes the album being, as already mentioned, the B-side for the opening track, released last year as a single. The track is a great ending for the LP, relaxed and groovy, with hypnotic melodies and reverberating, echoing effects that create a nevertheless electrifying atmosphere.
Overall, we can say that ‘Origin’ is an LP that explores the duality and contradictions of its melodic mix, employing elements from different styles and letting these elements play out in ways that end up becoming a sound of its own. An impressive feat for a debut album as well as for a production outfit that has been around for a short year. With a solid production style and a clear sense of where they want to go, Lost Arcade is sure to be a duo to look out for in the future.
Get your copy or ‘Origin’ here.