When I started All Around Sound in 2010 there was a very concentrated effort to leave the classical music world to which I had previously belonged behind and engage with music in almost an entirely different sphere. They were of course outliers - as my discovery of indie classical artists like ETHEL (who I had actually had the pleasure of meeting while attending college) and Brooklyn Rider who took the antiquated form of the string quartet (probably my favorite ensemble for which classical music is/was written) and update it in a way that was wholly unexpected. Son Lux came right at the time of that discovery and what he was doing was so marvelously unlike that so undefinable in terms of form or genre that it turned my whole idea of popular music on its side. Son Lux's Ryan Lott is a classically trained composer and yet, the music he fashions as Son Lux can hardly be called that at all. His method almost perfectly at the crossroads of the methodical precision a classical composition and the intuitive flow of pop music while being created through arguably the least cohesive means. It was a revelation to discover Son Lux both as a wildly innovative force and as a creative entity composed of more than just Lott and each subsequent release since NPR introduced me to We Are Rising has proved to be a completely mindblowing experience.
So when it came time to sit down and figure out who to ask for assistance for this year's blog birthday mixes - the milestone fifth year of the blog rapidly approaching, Son Lux came to mind. Not only as an artist whose brain I would of course love to pick (and what better way than to see how they arrange music) but of an artist who completely changed the notion of what a composer/artist could be in the modern age. Despite the sea of electronic acts coming and going Son Lux stands out to me and countless, nameless others I'm sure as a distinctive voice. It's music that while electronic in presentation doesn't invoke an intimacy or familiarity with the genre to engage with it that manages to be capture your attention purely by being interesting. There's an insane amount of depth to Son Lux's production and yet, it never feels like the music of Son Lux is purely about the production. It's the subtle alchemy of everything - its production, collaborators, Ryan Lott's lyricism with strives for vague universality but still manages to resonate with the listener.
Son Lux is the kind of artist whose music can change the whole way you see music in general, he did for me so it only seemed natural to involve him in a celebration of the evolution of the blog. Luckily despite being holed up in the studio creating the follow up to Lanterns, time could be found for Son Lux to contribute a mix and it means a hell of a lot that they did. Listen to this electronic-heavy mix, it's a keeper.
Thanks to not just Ryan Lott but Son Lux as an entire whole: Ian Chang and Rafiq Bhatia as well as Sean Hallarman of Big Hassle Media for facilitating the exchange to ensure that it all went down as smoothly as it could.