Lazer Sword: Memory (Monkeytown)

Electronic duo and production team Lazer Sword—Antaeus Roy (aka Lando Kal) and Bryant Rutledge (aka Low Limit)—is back with its first studio effort since 2010's self-titled debut full-length.

Memory, out on Modeselektor's Monkeytown label, is only a slight departure from the partnership's crunky roots. From chilled-out down-tempo tracks like the futuristic "Let's Work" to the glitch-kissed dubstep of "Better From U," Lazer Sword isn't afraid to linger at the very margins of psychedelic electronica.

Shucks, the two-minute intro, "Sky Burial," is a beautifully ambient set piece designed to tease the clubgoer's brain before the booming, descending bass line and cavernous retro-synth stabs of "Toldyall." Altogether different is the spooky, jittery trance-hop of "Missed a Spot," which gradually builds in intensity until morphing into a heavy slab of avant-techno.

Such an eclectic approach likely has to do with the fact that Roy and Rutledge now live on separate continents—the former resides in Berlin, the latter in Los Angeles. Different time zones no doubt resulted in significant online collaboration, which gives Memory an airy, anything-goes vibe. Nonetheless, the 11 tracks gathered here share an overall aesthetic and demonstrate Lazer Sword's commitment to bringing not just booty-banging beats, but also artistic ideas to the dance floor.

In sum, the multileveled Memory serves as the duo's most meditative, ambitious and memorable disc yet.

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