In 2005, the trance duo of Lemon (Inge Nilsen from Aven) and Einar K brought us an excellent double A-side release, "Hope / Autumn Radicals". Now they have come back into the limelight three years later with another double A-side vinyl, "Anticipation/Hold Me Now". Does it stand up to the level of quality that I had the privilege of experiencing from their previous set of tunes, or will they have to live with seeing the best material behind them?
The first track on Anticipation is an interesting one, although it does tend to sound much like many other tracks in its field. The gradual build-up is not unlike any other, although the rest between that and the main melody is quite soothing regardless of its relative caliber. The faded piano underneath the swooping pads deliver an airy touch while we wait. Finally, the melody approaches somewhat quickly; the arpeggiation is well-done overall, though sometimes I feel like that style of composition is a reminder of the past. However, if it still sounds good, I won't complain. I recently read another review which claimed that the lead synth was very harsh, but I disagree -- I think it is fairly suitable for the song. Unlike past Lemon & Einar K tracks, there are actually two climaxes in this one (a rare occurrence indeed). Overall, this song works just fine, but it doesn't particularly stand out as something as unique as I had come to expect.
However, hope is not lost when I heard Hold Me Now for the first time. This track is pure gold, although the golden part is actually the shortest part. The introductory build-up is very reliant on a solid gritty bassline that begins as monotone but funky, eventually moving forward to a polytonal groove. There are also male vocals here, more in-depth than the ones featured in their last vocal attempt, "Autumn Radicals". They are solid though not my favourite aspect of the song; still, they do add to the overall experience and have a European trance flavour to them. The best part, however, is the instrumental refrain after the vocal chorus. They used the smooth synth from "Hope" and tweaked it so that it sounds even smoother (if that's possible) to create an absolutely wicked melodic sequence. I love this instrumental part and it is the best of the vinyl, even if it only lasts about 30 seconds (at full power). Furthermore, there could have (and should have) been a second climax in the song, but Lemon & Einar K are generally known for having instrumental refrains only once per song, instead of twice as is normally the case in trance music. Oh well -- it's still an amazing tune whose assets overtake its flaws.
The three-year hiatus, though far too lengthy for only two new tracks, was well-spent, as the end result is just as impressive as their initial offerings. Although "Hold Me Now" is clearly the stronger of the two songs (at least according to me), but they could each hold their own ground within the clubbing community. Both of these songs sound rich and full, just as I prefer my trance music to be. And just like last time, I am practically ecstatic about this new release. I hope that they amp up their schedule and pump out some new tracks much more frequently in the future.