I never heard before about Ben Lukas Boysen. The berlin based composer has released a bunch of records before “Spells” and “Gravity” landed as acclaimed electronic producer HECQ. He released nine albums since 2003, exploring everything from ambient to breakcore. Friend and fellow Erased Tapes artist Nils Frahm mixed and mastered both new albums. You can hear that collaboration in every moment of “Spells”.
Frahm is a mastermind on the piano and Ben shines with his live improvisation. “Spells” sounds fresh from the first tone, because its combined the programmed piano on the one hand and the live instruments on the other. It started with “The Vail”, an slow piano driven opening track that you might believe that the time stands still. The following “Nocturne 3” catches these feelings and let you dives deep in this atmosphere. “Spells” starts slow until “Golden Times I” pushes carefully in speed and loudness. It’s definitely one of the highlights on “Spells”. In some cases “Spells” remind me about the classical elements of A Winged Victory For The Sullen and the electronic parts of the outstandig last record from Jon Hopkins. The secound half of “Spells” follow the roots of the first, classic combined with modern electronic elements. While “Nocturne 4” builds slowly at the beginning, it punches in the middle with a similar climax then “Golden Times I”. “Keep Watch” slows down the speed again and works with typically mordern classical elements. The string camber sound feels fantastic on this one. “Spells” feels great as debut record and pushes my expactations ahead for a follow up in the future. If you love the sound of piano driven music, you have to explore this record!