A roguish character from the upper reaches of intelligent dance music, Last Ronin has exhibited a fascinating tendency to stretch himself over the last 3 years. He’s always kept one foot in heavily tweaked dubstep, while the other has been liable to kick into any number of EDM realms he parades out to pay tribute to. Last Ronin has never failed to push boundaries, and his restless synth growling experiments pack a lot of focused flailing into worthwhile adventures.
Now his most overtly musical album “Meditate” serves as the best-yet summation of his various dangling threads: manic beat mashes, deep bass fusion strolls, audacious synth pile-ups and full-on artistic reach. All of the seven pieces in the album gathers into a set that draws from his growing reputation as a staggering electronic act.
On the opening track, “Reconnect”, Last Ronin takes a rare walk through the park, with a gorgeous vocal melody by Kailey Elizabeth raining down on a banging bass drum and synths that splash out a stream of back up.
“Meditate” has its moments of real beauty and visceral thrill, large chunks of euphoria, and some intricate tapestries of electronic bleeps and bloops dropped over new synth patches and cutting edge drum-breaks. It’s simultaneously dense and airy, and Last Ronin knows a hook when he comes across one, so he rides the theme for a minute before launching into a new phrase.
Dubstep’s bombast works perfectly with the needlepoint finery of Last Ronin arrangements, which on “Interstellar” and “Deliverance”, is like watching a world-renowned surgeon brilliantly performing brain surgery with a keyboard.
“Ancient Past” ft. Tom Evans sounds like aliens hatching on some distant planet, a few solar systems away. The sounds are haunting, while the soaring synth voices will give listeners instant cold shivers. The best Last Ronin songs take listeners on a journey, and that comes to fruition once again with “Daydream”.
The depth Last Ronin extracted from this piece sprouts off the speakers, runs through the listener’s body and forms as a Goosebump on the back of the neck. Conjuring a vibe of serenity and peace, this emotional ballad is destined to play a huge role in the balance of this album. His layered and borderline metaphysical style of electronic music continues on “Desistance”.
Fittingly, the album’s title track “Meditate” is one of its strongest. Its highs and lows swirl around one another in an all-embracing scale, painting the soundscape in vivid colors against the backdrop of an otherwise rudimentary dubstep beat. This is the Last Ronin we know and love.
In short, the album could not have been achieved through the kind of sporadic rushed releases expected of contemporary musicians as it surpasses the standards set by Last Ronin’s previous discography. There is no vague amount of filler on this album to dilute its essence, or diminish Last Ronin’s stellar track record of putting out groundbreaking new music.
“Meditate” is a galactic trip into the light and Last Ronin brings the sonic euphoria with this impressive studio album. Proving his mastery and reaffirming his celebrated versatility, creating a truly riveting and cohesive album.