Jeff “Attlas” Hartford from Canada just released his first full length album, Lavender God, on January 31, 2020. Before his rise in the dance music scene, many believed he was an alias of Deadmau5. In 2019 He was voted breakthrough DJ North America in DJ Mag.
Although his music sits in the EDM genre, Attlas has found a sound all his own. Every remix he does sounds nothing like the original, and he is a master at slicing up a vocal and then weaving it back together. I’m always impressed by his sound design, which leaves me asking myself, “How did he do that?” He always creates space with his atmospheric synths, pads, and subtle yet complex beats.
The interactions I’ve had with him over social media have shown me what a genuine person he can be. He has been gracious and friendly. Over the years he has aired mixes with videos and visuals. Usually he and his collaborators join in on the viewing and interact in a lovely fashion. Knowing that he is such a friendly and passionate person just allows me to enjoy his work even more
Lavender God flows nicely from song to song. Every time I listen to it, the whole album manages to finish before I realize it. The introduction to the album, “Shatter,” creeps in and starts soft and smooth, like the first sip of refreshing water. The melody plays throughout most of the song, with beautiful transitions panning synths and a strong bass.
My favorite parts of “A Winding Path” have to be the piano and bells throughout. The entire track creates so much space and movement, with little to no beats. Possibly the stand out track of the album “Half Light,” featuring Alisa Xayalith, is more of a traditionally laid out dance track. The chorus feels so impactful, almost like the synths are breathing along with Alisa. The sound design in Lavender God makes me feel like I’ve been floating out in space while I watch different galaxies drift by. “November” is a playful track that has a main arpeggio that slowly morphs as it’s joined by pads, strings, and piano.
The first release of the album “Sinner Complicated” reminds me more of some of Attlas’ older productions. The way Attlas introduces sounds in a song is so well done and unique. The first beat doesn’t come in until the 1 minute mark, but you wouldn’t know it at first because there are so many sounds to entertain your brain. The meat of the song is more along the lines of a tech house track, alerting you to why people mistook him for Deadmau5.
Another absolutely gorgeous track, “A Ray of Light,” is again more on the traditional side of songwriting. The layers upon layers of synths and piano during the breakdowns and build ups are breathtaking. It’s like you are at the base of a waterfall and the music is just rushing over you, leaving you wanting more. The track, “Home,” has a fun broken beat with lush pads. By the middle of the track, you are listening to echoing piano that slowly drifts into a more driving beat and synth.
The second release from Lavender God, “Hotel,” featuring Maylan is another more traditional dance track with vocals that constantly seep in from beneath murky pads. One of the things I enjoy most about this track is the percussion and how he constantly manipulates it.
The album finishes up with “More Than That,” which almost reminds me of listening to a band set up before a show, with all the rattling of drums and plucking instruments. The first half of the track is beautifully organized chaos. When the beat does kick in, it feels like the album is slowly slithering away from you, leaving you craving more.
I have been listening to Lavender God quite a bit in the morning and in the car. It’s not a pump you up dance album to work out to. It’s a great album to have on while driving in the rain on a pleasantly gloomy day. So far I have really enjoyed this album, listening to it once, if not a few times a day. I’ve definitely reached obsessed levels and couldn’t be happier about it. I always love when producers or bands continue to grow and improve upon their style and sound. So if you are looking for something new and beautiful to enter your brain’s auditory cortex, please give it a few listens.
Lavender God can be found at mau5trap.ffm.to/lavendergod.