Lane 8 first caught me attention with his remix of Liberate by Eric Prydz. I recall hearing the original during the iconic opening cinematic of one of the Forza games and then went poking through the rest of the release's album. It was, and still is, without a doubt one of the most beautifully crafted audio experiences I have ever heard to this date.
I really didn't know much about this (at the time) illusive producer, other than he was based in Colorado. I later found out more specifically that Denver was where he called home, something which warmed me to him even more as it was arguably my favourite city in America.
Someone once described his music as "dreamy back rub house", which pretty much encapsulates exactly how I felt when listening to the rest of his catalogue of music after having heard that mind-blowing Eric Prydz remix.
I get the impression that Little by Little is also another fantastic way of describing Lane 8's style of producing, as his tracks build up slowly and little by little elements are added to his soundscapes gradually crescendoing to a climatic, beating heart of emotions.
My only issue at the time, having plodded through most of his other published works, was that his style of music could increasingly become repetitive and ultimately boring. This is a common issue which the 'general public' have with some of the more niche electronic music genres, especially in the house and techno world.
Perhaps I would come to appreciate it for what it was as I grew older, a bit like how you begin to enjoy things like whiskey or comfortable arm chairs as you become aged and wise. Or perhaps it was one of those situations where you only really like 1 or 2 songs by a particular artist, similar to how I feel about a producer like Mura Masa.
The thing is, Lane 8's level of quality in his production never falters, it never strays too far off the path which he has set ahead of himself and it always encapsulates exactly the right kind of emotions.
Little by Little is, however, for me the lightbulb moment which drew me to calling Lane 8 one of my favourite producers to this day. It's a rollercoaster of happiness, melancholy, freedom of thought and pure "back rub" relaxation.
I finally get it, I finally see what it is about Daniel Goldstein's music that is so addictive. I fall into a deep trance whilst listening to his music, imagining myself driving along a long open country road in a convertible with the wind gushing past.
Another way in which I describe his music to my friends is as '3am music'. The kind of music you listen to on a late night drive, or on your way back from the club, or just sat gazing up at the stars with someone who means a lot to you.
My favourite track on the album has definitely got to be Atlas, which Lane 8 released as a single prior to the album release. The soundscape created by this formidably crafted track is breathtaking. A low-hanging pad encourages the build of an eclectic arpeggiated synth, a Lane 8 signature sound, along with the occasional reverb-heavy pluck. The sliding bassline lets you flow through the different parts of the track with ease whilst the layers of percussion build and grow. The final climatic drop sees the bassline's filter open up to a more raw harsh sound as the arpeggio floats high above. It's truly a masterpiece.
Other notable highlights of the album are Lane 8's collaboration with relatively-unknown London-based J.F. July 'Coming Back to You', 'No Captain' which sees Daniel collaborate with Minneapolis band POLIÇA, and the solo titular track 'Little by Little'.
The overwhelming urge to go travel across a wide open prairie with some friends is definitely present whilst listening to this beautifully crafted album. Its simplicity, emotional groundwork and technical mastery makes it one of the most enjoyable listening experiences I've gone through, along with Odesza's 'A Moment Apart' and Daft Punk's 'Random Access Memories'. I look forward to getting the vinyl for this one...
I look forward to listening to Little by Little many many more times, and I cannot wait to see what Lane 8 has in store for us in 2018.