The Lasso releases the magic behind great collaboration
Sometimes the beauty behind music is such that you never know what to expect of it until it comes to fruition. A producer can send out a beat that gave them one feeling and two different people can come back evoking the same or different emotions. When the work is continued with those people in that same manner for different tracks, almost unintentionally, there is a pattern that begins to break through. For Michigan producer The Lasso, that is exactly what happened with his latest release, 2121. After working with rapper Lando Chill on The Boy Who Spoke to the Wind (2017) and Black Ego (2018), The Lasso released his own solo project, and work with Chris Orrick, PSYPIRITUAL and ELUCID. 2121, his newest work, demonstrates the magic behind mashing the emotions of the producer and artists.
The compilation of voices throughout the 11-track LP includes the likes of A. Billi Free, Rachele Eve, The Saxsquatch and Jordan Hamilton multiple times and many others. The Lasso focuses on the production itself as well as drums, keyboards, percussion and guitar. Jarad Selner was focused on the saxophone while Jordan Hamilton was on the cello. These core instruments are heard throughout each track. While they are arranged to give a new experience, the consistency of instruments provides a cohesive sound throughout.
The title track opens up the album with a bright keyboard and guitar. The swirly synth introduces the mid-tempo drum pattern that allows for the funky saxophone to take the lead. Meanwhile, the constant harmonies within the chorus fill up the rest of the song. “No Illusions” follows after with Ill Camille on her own verse. Here the production takes a back seat. A simple drum pattern, compressed cello and scattered synths make up the main beat. Over are lyrics about society and the promises that have not been kept. Once again, the vocals becoming their own instruments and the adding complexity to the simple production. “Satellite” starts off with filtered vocals saying, “All we really want is a place to call our own.” The approach here turns towards the R&B route with a smooth and slow drum pattern. The strings here take hold of the main melody while the saxophone accents the higher notes. The vocal filter reappears in the end to manipulate the normal vocals.
Another song where the lyrics take a main focus is in “The Abyss.” Here, the feature, Fat Tony, highlights the Black experience with lines like, “Ain’t shit changed at all, n***** in here still getting shit on” and “we need more than a prayer, need some damn justice, need to be prepared.” Production-wise, the saxophone decorates the harmonizing vocals to create this psychedelic vibe over the basic drum pattern. “Amber Prisms” is another soulful song over a slow drum and funky saxophone. The vocals permeate the production during the first verses and choruses. The final track, “Fly Futura,” features previous collaborators, Lando Chill and PSYPIRITUAL as well as Rey. The various flows and deliveries give way for an exciting track to listen to. With the vocals keeping listeners on the edge, it allows for the saxophone to take control of furnishing the track while the drum kit remains steady. The vocal layering as well as the various smaller sounds allow for the song to become bigger as it progresses then eventually slow down. The reverbed harmonies at the end provide a sweet and satisfying ending.
When collaborating with the same people, you are bound to eventually have common patterns in the work. Yet, that was never The Lasso’s intention. There was no set theme for the album, he just worked with what he was given. This is where the concept of the magic happens. Producers really take what both they and the artist come up with and help further the stories. With 2121, The Lasso allows listeners into the experiences shared within his peers and the work they created together.