Lyra Valenza set the tone for their first full-length album ‘Low Gear No Pressure’ with an idyllic ambience, which then tumbles into feisty, heartfelt dance workouts. Across eight tracks, the Danish duo explore the pixellated euphoria of their previous ‘Scan, Deliver’ and ‘Nightshade Edition’ EPs with a more focused sensitivity.
At the start of 2020, Lyra Valenza had been freshly nominated by music platform SHAPE. With the pandemic in hand, however, plans changed: instead of playing a slew of festivals, the duo spent weeks in a summer house in rural Sjælland, right at Denmark’s North Eastern coast, making early versions of the tracks in this album. ‘Low Gear No Pressure’ refers to the unusual calmness of that time, away from music industry stress and burnout; inspired by friendship.
More than previous EPs, the album is shaped by the duo’s live set, which they’ve been performing in Denmark and Europe for many years now. The album breezes through different modes with confidence and ease, tracks morphing fluidly into one another to create a cohesive listening experience.
A cool, expansive breakbeat on track two, ‘True Computer’, hints at the psychoactive journey to follow. ‘Truthwork’ plays with arps over a half time groove: subtle synths which reach their final form in ‘Joy Divided’. These agile swells and drops recall peers-in-precision Minor Science and 96 Back.
On the flip, ‘Gameshow’ looks back over one shoulder to eurodance, while ‘Life on the Line’ goes out to the soulful junglists, but with a touches of trance in the samplework. On ‘Who Might Win’, the album’s ecstatic hyperactiveness melts into a slo-mo heartbeat, reminding us there’s a chillout room somewhere in the building. And just when we think it’s time to go home, the album gifts us with “one more tune”, and the soaring pop vocals of featured artist Saltmother on ‘Stretch Your Arms’.