Lex - WavingLABEL: Leng
It can take a while for an artist to find their musical voice. For Alex Andrikopoulos, it’s been a journey that’s taken the best part of two decades. Now he’s set to mark a major milestone in his transition from record store owner, label co-founder and DJ to producer with the release of his long-promised first solo album for Leng, Waving. The Greek artist first joined the Leng Records roster in the autumn of 2020 and has since gone in to release the acclaimed ‘Punta Allen’ EP for the imprint. Before that, he spent the first decade of the century running the popular Radical Sounds record shop in Athens, before refocusing on running Quantized Music with fellow DJ/producer Tolis Q and developing his DJ career, where his unique blends of disco, house and techno tracks earned him bookings at some of Europe’s most storied clubs.
Waving, which appears on the back of a handful of fine EPs for a variety of labels, is his boldest and strongest statement yet as a musician and producer. Created with a little help from guest musicians and collaborators including keyboardist Artis Boriss, bassist Brotha Gilla, percussionists Ilario Arnel and Harold Perez, pianist Luciano Ledesma and guitarist Alex Searle, the album brilliantly blurs the boundary between 21st century disco, afternoon-ready downtempo grooves, and the kind of dancefloor-minded Balearic fare that’s devilishly difficult to pigeonhole.
Fittingly, the set begins with previous single ‘Punta Allen’, an eight-minute chunk of organic dancefloor goodness which slowly unfurls before rising towards and gorgeous and joyous conclusion, and ends with the squelchy, slo-mo cosmic funk of ‘Patrol Di Caribe’, where trippy synthesizer lines, layered percussion and more tuneful style pan style lead ins catch the ear.
In between, highlights are plentiful, from the driving, piano solo-laden dub disco brilliance of ‘Down My Soul’ and the languid, sun-kissed, beach-ready downtempo grooves of ‘The Jamail Pass’, to the rubbery, pitched-down electrofunk of ‘Window Spells’ (featuring a fine lead vocal from Max Giovara, the flash-friend, dubwise Balearic funk of ‘Waving’, and the throbbing brilliance of ‘La Di Da Di’, whose crunchy Clavinet lines, fluid electric piano solos, snappy drums and pulsating, arpeggio-style bass encapsulate all that is good about the album.
The digital edition of the album also comes bundled with eight more tracks not featured on the double-vinyl LP. Featuring the same blend of expansive musicality, organic drums and dancefloor nous, this octet effectively extends the album via a string of similarly playable, club-ready and sofa-friendly tracks. Standouts include the non-stop, nu-disco-meets-house excellence of ‘Large Stacks’, Hammond-laced head-nodder ‘Take The High Road’, horizontal Balearic funk shuffler ‘Prezend’ and hazy, vocal-sporting dub disco roller ‘Angels of Rhythm’, which previously appeared on the flipside of Lex’s ‘Punta Allen’ 12”.