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Album review: “The Space Between the Words” by Dan Le Sac


text: Greg Sheer

If the silences between notes are truly the basis of rhythm, then the space between words must be the basis of thought. Dan Le Sac’s newest solo offering The Space Between the Words serves up the former in spades and reflects a grip on humanity that’s dark, playful, and thoughtful. Utilizing arrangements that comfortably seat electronic and instrumental tracks next to one another, he and a host of guests have put together an album with hip-swivelers and slow-boilers alike, that paint a dark and urban picture, and drape it on the sophisticated poly-rhythmic framework. There’s a blend of influences at play here, metal and reggae coming to terms with EDM as a set of very pleasing bed-fellows.

“Tuning” is a prime example of the move-your-amplitude throughout the record, a relentless disco rhythm on hi-hat, propelling the forcefully quotidian spoken word from Joshua Idehen forward.

There’s a lot of dub whomping its way into tracks like “Good Time Gang War” and “Play Along,” with synth-y steel drums drawing a comparison to Gorillaz, which is also felt on “Zephyr.”

“Caretaker,” starts off dreamy and twinkling, and reverberates up, into a slow churning rap number featuring B Dolan and HowAboutBeth, drowning a tragic urban story in a deep beat that’s slowly pulsing and dripping with codeine. “Memorial” kicks off with a sharp and lonely surf guitar, fed through a cloud of reverb, and blossoms with a seductive vocal performance from Emmy the Great; it might also be a solid contender for the next Bond theme.

The Space Between the Words is a densely packed album, though not without its moments of listlessness or meandering. It’s as ready for the clubs as it might be for the headphones, and absolutely worth a listen, if only to try and catch a glimpse of all the moving parts, in spite of a weird and wonderful whole.

Purchase the album on iTunes.

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