Each month we shine the spotlight on one SoundGym member by reviewing one of their releases for our Music Spot feature. This month we focus on the `Dream Invasion EP` by Lebanese producer Yahya El-Zein AKA YLZN.
The three tracks that make up this EP make use of odd timings and detuned synths, giving the music a wonky, off-kilter feel. YLZN cites Royksopp as an inspiration and you can really hear that in these tracks, as well as 90s influences such as Nightmares On Wax and Orbital. The retro feel that this has in places creates a sort of hazy melancholy, but the bass sounds and drum patterns are also often thoroughly modern.
The EP opens with `Wolves`; smoky, and slightly out of focus, backed with an insistent but laid-back groove. It bursts to life when YLZN`s trademark detuned synths take center stage.
`Heartless Artist` takes a darker turn. The intro features ethereal soundscapes, underpinned by a chugging analogue arpeggio. At 90 seconds in the track takes a left turn; recalling Air in one of their more reflective moods, the darkness is replaced by a melancholy that is brought to the fore with a broken-sounding piano.
The EP is rounded off with `Dawn From`. This track brings together elements from the previous two tracks but ups the tempo and introduces a post-dubstep bass to its bold arrangement.
The `Dream Invasion EP` is out now across all the usual streaming platforms. You can find out more about YLZN by visiting his Soundcloud