Like some of his contemporary UK peers (looking at you, Tom Misch and Jordan Rakei), the 27-year-old Austrian producer-turned-singer Wandl is a rare example of an artist that’s able to combine the groove and emotionality of soul music with colorful electronic textures and the exciting and youthful feel of hip-hop. His third solo album »Body Memory« works as an empowering statement of clarity and immediacy. Being blunt, it could be described as Wandl’s »pop album«, even though that might do a disservice to his craft. Still, to this day there is no work in his catalogue that allows Lukas Wandl, the human, that much space for presentation.
Recordings for »Body Memory« started even before his last album »Womb« was released in 2020. For Wandl, the process of working on it mirrors the idea of opening himself back up to a community. It all started when he found himself in a place of brokenness, physically and mentally drained, having to cancel a planned tour because of this. To overcome the resulting state of depression and hopelessness, he instigated a process of tuning back in with his environment and the world at large. »Body Memory« is the result of this inner journey, exploring the fact that stress and emotional injuries are stored in our bodies and therefore can only be expressed and given form through our bodies.
For »Body Memory«, Wandl worked with some of his usual peers from the Austrian scene, such as Dorian Concept, The Clonious, Fid Mella or Lex Lugner, but also his new partner-in-crime, German beatsmith Torky Tork, that co-produced almost half of the record. To let their joint creative spirits flow, they traveled to Poland to build a foundation of tunes, while others were written and recorded in Vienna, Berlin, the Austrian countryside and even the basement of Wandl’s parents’ place in St Pölten, Lower Austria. No surprise that this album has turned out a deeply collaborative work, as almost every track contains contributions from multiple musicians. Not forgoing the playfulness and innovation of his past records, Wandl moves his emotional, fragile vocals to the very front of the mix for the first time. In moving past his comfort zone, he breaks free from learned stereotypes of taste, writing slightly more conventional, but still extremely authentic songs. Working to regain access to his true inner voice and intuition, Wandl has written an album of sheer physicality, but also immense emotional depth and beauty.
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