Damien Lynch has been busy of late, serving up a superb slab of electro-influenced experiments for Lunar Disko under the Diamond Dagger alias. Here he returns to ESP Institute under his given name, serving up the follow-up to his critically acclaimed debut 12", The Heights. Opener "Brunette" is a deep and softly spun techno shuffler, with quietly spacey stabs, swooshing pads and stoned electric piano motifs enhancing the hypnotic, late night mood. "Forced Relax" is equally baked, but noticeably slower. It, too, sounds like a yearning, early morning transmission from some far-off planet, beamed down by a sleep-deprived astronaut pining for a comfy bed back on Earth.
According to ESP Institute, Damien Lynch is "a gentleman you've met in a past life". That's certainly true for those who checked his previous productions under the obscure Sarsparilla [sic] and Diamond Dagger aliases. Unlike those, which were inspired by classic electro and Italo-disco, the two tracks that make up this ESP Institute debut are deep, woozy, atmospheric and sensory. First up is "The Heights", where fluttering riffs, horizontal chords and luscious melodic flourishes ride a gradually building - and eventually pulsating - groove. "Safe House" is a more melancholic affair, despite the presence of some particularly bold and heavy percussion, with lilting marimba melodies, undulating arpeggio lines and tear-jerking pads catching the ear.