Daniel Goldstein — better known by his stage name, Lane 8 — has delivered a hallmark of infectious beats and entrancing harmonies with the neatly packaged album, Little by Little.
Hailing from the Bay Area and currently living in Denver, Lane 8 has managed to take one of my favorite deep house tracks, “Hot as You Want” from his 2015 album, Rise, and evolve its genre elements into a gem of a project.
For readers unfamiliar with electronic music lingo, deep house is a subgenre of house music. Its core is composed of jazz-funk with a peppering of soul, and it accompanies a tempo that hunkers itself at 120-125 beats per minute. The phonetic sensations heard when listening to a noteworthy deep house track are distinct, which helps set it apart from repetitious techno or abrasive trap.
Listeners expecting the well-known “drop” of most electronic songs they hear on SoundCloud or at a music festival will find a similar concept here, but with more subtle components. In short, you don’t experience a mosh pit at a deep house show or some over enthusiastic artist shouting “One, two, three, everyone jump!” However, with the infectious elements of the genre and Lane 8’s music specifically, these tracks will — at the very least — make you tap your foot to the beat.
At times, Lane 8’s production can seem minimalistic and even simplistic when misunderstood, but when the synths and base ensemble of layers are broken down through critical listening, his tracks reveal a meticulous array of instruments that intertwine to yield a captivating collection.
But like any project, it’s not perfect: Notably, the album’s weakest link comes from its almost sluggish pace. Though each track is packed with rhythm and serves as a strong example of the mastery Goldstein has as an audio engineer, listening to the project from start to finish is a struggle. Over the course of 55 minutes, its vast layers of depth reflect a dense listening experience that is lethargic at its least and boring at its worst.
Those interested in digesting the album and its large tracks should be mindful of this grievance, and I implore listeners to avoid passively listening to it. Though this may come off as contradictory, the abundance of subtle and acoustic shifts across each track deserves proper attention. Lane 8 has crafted a project with heartwarming electronics and enrapturing melodies that spur emotion. While I cautiously recommend Little by Little to outsiders of electronic music, I overwhelmingly endorse it for fans of deep house.
Final Grade: A