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Every visionary artist has a defining work – their personal magnus opus. For the polymath Andrew Bayer, ‘In My Last Life' might be just that.
Grammy nominated through his production work with Above & Beyond, the D.C. native co-produced their #3 US album ‘Common Ground' and is also a writer and producer on Lo Moon's indie electronica hit ‘Loveless'.
As a DJ, the anjunabeats star has graced the stages of tastemaker electronic festivals such as EDC Vegas, Electric Zoo and Creamfields, and headlined clubs from LA to London.
But it is as an album artist that Andrew Bayer has sculpted his reputation as a true innovator – an artist in the classic sense of the word.
It's a journey that began with his 2011 debut LP ‘It's Artificial' – described by mixmag as “an incredible album of sophisticated electronica”. Traversing glitch hop, progressive house and electronica, it signalled the arrival of a true talent on Anjunabeats.
It's 2013 follow-up, ‘If It Were You, We'd Never Leave' took an even bolder creative direction. Ditching the 4/4 beats completely, Andrew instead conjured a 16-track sampladelic odyssey featuring Sufjan Stevens, Ane Brun and Des-ree – earning comparisons to DJ Shadow, Moby and Flying Lotus by XLR8R.
Five years in the making, this third LP ‘In My Last Life' represents a humanising of the enigmatic producer's sound – comprising of 8 heartfelt and emotional songs penned and delivered by Norwegian singer/songwriter Ane Brun and the incredible Alison May respectively. It is also, quite simply, his defining work to date.
An artistic statement and a perfectly considered body of work, ‘In My Last Life' owes very little to the dancefloor that Andrew is often associated with – instead drawing its inspirations from influences as far and wide as Kate Bush, Atoms Of Peace, Aphex Twin and Talk Talk.
Through its 8 songs, the LP plots an enchanting, carefully spun tale of love and loss – explored through the narrative prisms of reincarnation and immortality.
Alison May swims in the overwhelming sensations of love in the ethereal electronic washes of ‘Tidal Wave', looks at love through reincarnation on the dreamy ‘In My Last Life' and whispers of stalking ex-lovers from beyond the grave on the shuffling, Timbaland-esque beats of ‘Immortal Lover'.
Ane Brun's three turns, meanwhile, are as diverse as they are majestic. Nodding back to classics 80s ballads from Kate Bush and Sade, 'Love You More' is a slow-building indie-pop beauty loaded with joy and musicality. Somewhere between Aphex Twin and The XX, 'Hold On To You' is a string-laden, bittersweet ode to the recently departed, whilst the psychedelic synth-pop of 'Your Eyes' that could easily be filed next to the best work of MGMT, Passion Pit et al.
And then there's closer ‘End of All Things', an anthemic, arm-waving electronica excursion, where Alison May sings in ode to a recently lost love – capturing all the celebration, uncertainty and emotion at the end of a beautiful road.
A perfect closer, but ‘In My Last Life' is also an album that needs to be taken in its entirety.
Taken as one cohesive and beautifully constructed whole, the 8-track LP represents an journey that will surprise, stun and overwhelm those that submit to its charms -a truly personal masterpiece with all the musicality and detail that Andrew's fans know and love him for.