Album Review: Lukid / ‘Lonely at the Top’ (Werkdiscs/Ninja Tune)


Luke Blair doesn’t give into the bravado of a chest out-rapper with a statement like that. The context to Lonely at the Top does deal in loneliness though, an enigmatic clash of electronica defined by a lack of sympathizers, seemingly having it all but unable to conquer insecurities.

Beginning as a lounging blur and fade of color, unsteady on its feet after popping one too many corks as the classiness bedraggles come the end of the evening, Lukid strikes out with disjointedly echoing episodes. Cold sweat rains from its temples as “Manchester” sends chillwave’s temperature plummeting, a straggle of sounds and misted tangles meaning emotions are contradictory. Wallowing one minute to the beatless humbling/detox of “Snow Theme,” Lukid then parks himself next door to the boomingly irrational dubstep/techno “This Dog Can Swim.”

Jumping from one emotion to the next in pretty quick time could stereotype Lukid with a convenient label of ‘just’ being a complex character. Lonely at the Top has troubles, both figuratively and with its flow pushed and pulled, but is seeking to get better and always treats ears. “Riquelme” reaches deep house with a sore head, yet “USSR” and “The Life of the Mind” are much more calming influencers. Blair has a decent album of melancholy electronica that avoids sounding washed out, while being peppered with aggravated blows that play their part.

File under: Anenon, Arclight, Actress

Lukid / Foma (Werk Discs)


Lukid burst on the scene back in 2007 with the release of Onandon, an album that found the young English producer fusing dubstep’s bass-heavy wobble with the blunted hip-hop stylings of Madlib and DJ Krush to thrilling effect. Foma is the follow-up, and, thankfully, Lukid seems to have dodged the dreaded sophomore slump in fine style.

He’s still mining the same fertile sonic ground, but he’s clearly refined his approach; in fact, Foma is a near flawless album. If there’s one complaint that can be leveled against it, it’s merely that some of the tracks are just too short! The longest cut on the album clocks in at 5:46, while the shorter interludes, namely the title track, would do well with an extra minute or two tacked on the end for good measure. It’s a minor complaint, to be sure, and for fans of this sort of forward-thinking instrumental hip-hop, it’s sure to receive some heavy play in ’09.
Carl Ritger
File Under: DJ Krush, Jan Jelinek, Flying Lotus