BT — The Lost Art of Longing (Album Review)
Definition of LONGING
Longing definition is - a strong desire especially for something unattainable : craving. How to use longing in a…
People who read my writings on Medium but don’t know me in real life may not know that I’m a physical medium fan. As a 28-year old, I’m considered a millennial, but I grew up around computers and had earlier access in my life to the capacity to store, backup, or copy physical mediums into digital. I grew up in the age of CD players, LimeWire (because Napster had already come and gone in the torrent world), Windows XP, AOL, and the original Xbox. And somehow I’ve managed to be a millennial who has his feet squarely planted on the dividing line between digital and physical content and media. Where my preference lies on the access to this content has almost always been dictated by factors like availability, price, convenience, and “the cost of upkeep”, as well as favoritism. For example: I use streaming services to watch most things these days, but I do have full DVD box sets of M*A*S*H and How I Met Your Mother, because they’re special shows to me and I don’t want my ability to watch them to be dictated by a publisher. I also want to catch all their extra content available through the DVDs. But Bob’s Burgers is approaching eleven seasons right now and I don’t think it’s going to stop anytime soon and I don’t know that I’d want to buy every single season if it goes the way of The Simpsons. I also binge shows on YouTube, both at my computer where I do a lot of digital work and play games.
But nothing really sums up my physical medium fandom quite like music. It’s something I still actively participate the procurement of to this day, anytime I go to that local store that sells used physical entertainment (movies, CDs, games), I’m checking out the music. Across the 00s I had access to music some way or another fairly regularly, usually through an MP3 player of some sort. And then I got a 16 GB iPod and realized I could access a larger amount of music all with one sync button through iTunes. At the turn of the decade I graduated high school and as my computer-knowledge expanded through formal and informal education, I became fascinated with higher quality codecs and pursuing better sound quality through headphones, speakers, audio interfaces, etc. I procured disposable income, bought more CDs over time and quickly ran out of space on that 16 GB iPod. See I learned the iPod accepts certain lossless codecs. This was around the time I became fascinated with dance music, started buying singles and albums off BeatPort because it was hard to get them anywhere else in lossless formats, and so I’d inevitably be getting large mixtures of both lossless and lossy music files. Yeah, that cut my space short. So I upgraded to the iPod Classic two years before Apple stopped selling them. It took close to four years, but I eventually maxed out the 120 GB hard drive on the thing. It really got out of control when I started making my own DJ mixes every month and keeping them in lossless format. Then the iPod died a year later.
Now I own a FiiO, and I don’t even wanna get into the weirdness of what that thing is other than to say it’s a glorified music player for nerds like me who want to carry their CD collection everywhere they go. It is something I do though. My library sits around 342 GB right now, and yes, I do listen to it all. I also like having the CDs on my shelf for my favorite artists. I read their album booklets, try to comprehend more about how the music by favorite artists got made. And despite being this person who likes the pursuit of better clarity of sound and the stupid level of sorting I have to do with my FiiO to make it something I can navigate without much issue, I never bought into vinyls. Not because they’re not superior, they are. But, like I said, feet in both lanes. I like mobility. I’ve permitted CDs to take the place of vinyl for a good balance between the practically perfect quality of vinyl and the die roll you get with streaming services. There’s larger topics at hand with streaming, like how creations have less permanence through streaming services, or how little artists get paid compared to more traditional models. But, more importantly, I like just having my device that has all the music that I want. Not all the music out there, there’s services that are good for discovery through streaming, and streaming helped me discover dozens of artists. But a device in my possession has all the music I own and regularly enjoy and it’s a digital storage device, it’s a music player, it’s my collection in a pocket tool, but I also have my CDs I buy to put on the device. I find something good about all this.
So…what, exactly, am I getting at for three paragraphs now?
Well, my favorite artist made an album called “The Lost Art of Longing”. The album came out on August 14th, but it has taken me all the way to now to talk about it. I have an interesting tale to tell about my relationship with this very concept of longing in relation to music, I think it’ll help double as a conceptual review of what this album features vs. how its idea was released to the world. I’ll also be reviewing the album in general to get there, so this is gonna be a longer one. Strap in.
The Album Review — In Short
The capacity for media, for entertainment to be captivating artistry for people is a wild thing indeed. Fandom can be both toxic, loving, and spur people to chase artistry themselves. I myself am partially a result of these truths. I started DJ-ing very-very-small time because I was inspired by compilations like the Anjunadeep series, Laptop Symphony, and These Re-I-Magined Machines because of their capacity to make groupings of music made by different people feel like one experience. Part of this propelling passion that people experience is linked to waiting for the thing we wound up loving, in strong anticipation. I think many people can relate to an experience like this.
Enter The Lost Art of Longing, the next dance-focused album by musician, technologist, and composer BT. The album has two specific introductory messages if you go looking around for the album’s description on websites. Here’s the one directly addressing the idea of longing:
“One of the things nearing extinction; is the art of longing. As in, wanting of something you cannot immediately have. If anything positive is to come from the situation the world collectively finds itself in, it is my great hope — speed, instant gratification, and over-stimulation are swapped out for longing, imagination, and relational connection. For a child or teenager to sit thoughtfully and ponder what is to come, to hope for or envision something amazing, to dream of a place or a future — is becoming obsolete. Longing has been replaced with instant gratification. My hope is that this record reacquaints my audience with the lost art of longing. That they will take pause, get quiet, daydream, and connect to their own place of longing. Because that, I believe, is where the magic is.” — BT
So, as a person who has enjoyed BT’s music thoroughly over the past 8 years while amassing the majority of his musical collection, how do I feel about The Lost Art of Longing? How well does it accomplish creating a sense of longing? How well does it help people to appreciate the sensation that something will not be instantly gained? How does it hold up against BT’s own works, against that of his contemporaries? And, how does it hold up to my recently proclaimed BT cycle analysis and theory?
I’ll start with myself. I enjoy this album thoroughly, and BT hasn’t lost his touch. In some ways, The Lost Art of Longing (henceforth named “TLAOL”) is BT demonstrating many capacities old and new to his fans. You’ll find sounds and styles dating back to Ima or as recent as All Hail the Silence’s Daggers. It’s a good time with some of his sharper turns in recent memory, making for a worthy new high point in his career. One can never know how an album pans out for an artist, and COVID-19 certainly will have some sort of an impact on BT’s ability to make this one relevant to the dance music scene. But TLAOL certainly feels like it’s going to be relevant to BT fans for a long time, myself included.
My analysis of BT’s cyclical release nature and how he seems to snowball effect his creations every ten years has proven accurate in ways I wasn’t expecting here. While I expected the new version of his Stutter Edit software and some personal twists and turns in his life with his wife and daughter to take some new emotional forefronts in the album, I was surprised to see the “new thing” that’s enveloped BT’s new era is the capacity to develop any old sound and musical idea he wants to at this point. Even more surprising was that TLAOL, here in 2020, genuinely feels like BT’s cyclical nature is at it again. In the same way These Hopeful Machines became the album that Emotional Technology felt like it was trying to be, TLAOL undoubtedly feels like a more developed and nuanced image of his previous dance album, A Song Across Wires. Both sets of albums released seven years apart from each other, both experienced the same sense of iterative improvement. And just like These Hopeful Machines, it pays off in spades here.
It is getting challenging for this little internet critic to figure out if These Hopeful Machines is simply a better intersection of artistic delivery for what I personally want and expect out of music compared to TLAOL. But the fact that the challenge exists within me to consider my adoration for These Hopeful Machines (by far BT’s most successful album in the public space) as something blinding me sometimes to TLAOL’s own unique characteristics just speaks to TLAOL’s strength. It seems to take time for BT’s dance albums to manage knocking it out of the park these days, but he at least continues to move forward with his music.
The Album Review — In Length
It’s impossible to get into TLAOL without first comprehending where BT has gone in the physical work space in the past several years. After getting married, he moved in with his wife Lacey, built up his studio, recorded All Hail the Silence, and began a journey collecting many synths from days gone, either ones stolen from him years ago, or finding precious classics over time. Many, if not most, of these, made their way back into BT’s studio where things got overhauled further. Having spent this much time developing a new working studio and then sticking with it, we see the fruits of these labors across 2016 onwards. Three electronica-based albums and Daggers were released in the span of four years, and The Lost Art of Longing finished up this decade long journey this year. By this point, BT has spent larger amounts of time familiarizing himself, in one studio setting, with the ways in which he can continue to fuse instruments both acoustic and digital. I think the time he’s spent in the past ten years getting more familiar with and surrounded by equipment he’s wanted to get his hands on for so long has resulted in him finding a sweet spot for crafting a new sound for the burning 20s on this album. It also pays into the other half of his sentiments that he shared on this album.
tl;dr BT likes old stuff and he uses it to add to his music to make it sound awesome, okay?
I think this point, moreso than the one about “longing”, matches closer to what TLAOL becomes about as a result. We’re in the age where BT feels confident enough to release a 17-page PDF document where he talks about all the stuff he used to put together this album, and a lot of the instruments he used along the way and how he got there. It’s a love letter to the capacity for technology to do some wild stuff and add to our dance music in ways that we’re not truly appreciating while cross-pollinating that technology with real world instruments. I’ve harped a bit in the past about almost always needing an 80s-esque slow dance tune as a proof of artistic strength for any EDM artist on their debut album. I think TLAOL and Daggers are a great showcase of how there is more than one way to keep the lessons the 80s taught dance music without getting stale beyond belief. “Weltanschauung” is a pitch-perfect example of this by reversing time and putting trance, a genre born of the 90s, squarely into 80s territory in idea. “Trance if it was made in the 80s”, it’s a wonder it took the past ten years for someone to do this. Truly.
There’s other ideas BT’s been exploring in the social spheres and introduced in his talks about this album that are showing their hand here really strongly. One is the idea of attention span. BT’s been worried in the past about our capacity to sit and enjoy something (which is really what I think he’s chasing when he’s talking “longing”), about the way radio edits start four bars before a chorus and don’t even bother with a verse or lead-in anymore. It makes sense for artists in the age of Spotify to create music that catches attention quickly when there’s simply so much more music out there to enjoy at our fingertips. We want it all instead of wanting something in particular. Or, to paraphrase how BT put it on a recent podcast, we’re looking for music to fit certain moods through the use of playlists set to tasks instead of allowing the music to be something to enjoy in and of itself. TLAOL tackles and addresses this by changing up the way this album is approached.
For example, several tracks on this album have lengthier introductions, bridges, and breakdowns. “Wildfire”, “Walk into the Water”, “1AM in Paris”, “Weltanschauung”, and “Never Odd or Even” spend time developing their sound and have the type of extended sound explorations you get out of These Hopeful Machines (Walk into the Water, Weltanschauung, Never Odd or Even). Some have standard 32-bar lead-ins that you get out of club music (1AM in Paris). And “Wildfire” serves as a secondary album starter with a bit of a string intro before getting into verse. The album’s opener, “Game Theory”, is a slow burn invitation to the grandeur of this album, taking inspirations from Tangerine Dream and featuring no beats at all. By comparison, These Hopeful Machines had a dense and complex opening intro piece on “Suddenly” before entering the main song. “Game Theory” is a cleansing opener inviting you to take in everything that’s happening and to wait for the show to start. Very rarely, and really only after the album has been in your attention for an hour, does BT start letting tracks get right into their action quickly. The first strong case of this is “I Will Be Yours”, track 8 of 14 on this album. BT’s allowing this album’s (and his own) complexities to do the presenting on why we need music these days that allows us to play and listen first before music that plays while we work.
TLAOL’s strength of being an album we listen to and experience is further heightened when we consider the release formats here. There’s talks of a vinyl being released, but more importantly I want to look at the release schedule and formats. This album’s been anticipated for several years at this point, and we got a string of new club music experiments from BT across 2016–2017, but unexpectedly none of those tracks wound up on the final album. Instead, everything here is new and mostly unexpected. The first single / double single EP didn’t show up until June, and the album got announced a month later with the second leading single in July. The album came out a month after that. No other prep, no other lead-in besides all the personal marketing and social media posting BT could manage. When you compare this to the days of A Song Across Wires, we saw singles that went into the final cut literally two years in advance. Similar things happened with music for These Hopeful Machines, with leading single The Rose of Jericho coming out in June of 2009, while the album released in Februrary of 2010. Everything moves at a faster pace these days, but more importantly: This album wasn’t some long long tease experience for fans. It had a couple leading singles, and it was out for us to enjoy. And there’s only one “version” of this album to get. Sure, some fans may be holding out for a vinyl release, and you can listen on streaming platforms or buy a CD (still more on that later), but there aren’t alternative versions for this album, at least not yet.
Music currently exists in an age where multiple releases and formats helps market the album better. I’ve griped several times over about how the way artists have to make money these days is by creating several different versions of their album that are re-sold, re-shared, and re-packaged again and again in the span of a year for an album’s support time. BT’s albums were no stranger to this either. A Song Across Wires had an iTunes edition with radio edits of every track and one continuous mix, a CD edition with bad track cuts, and an extended edition available through BeatPort featuring extended mixes for each track. It also had a Deluxe Edition with remixes included. The Underscore album had a deluxe edition initially only available to people who bought the box/USB copy that included additional tracks, but then it went out on Spotify because I believe fans were a bit upset about walled off songs. But right now, almost two months after release, TLAOL is still the same if you get it on Spotify, Apple Music, BeatPort, or on CD. Even the leading singles are the same as the album versions. And right now, I think that’s a good thing to see. What you see is what you listen to no matter where you pick it up, and it’s built to be a good time. So let’s talk about that good time a bit more “blow by blow”.
After all, you’re probably waiting to hear how the music is, how good it is, etc. BT dance albums are often this mixture of his classical music background fused together with modern dance music trends. It never wasn’t that, despite how people act like it sometimes. As established, “Game Theory” is a moody opener, mostly playing with modular synths and some stabs here and there to help set the vibe that we’re getting started on something bigger than this opener. I will admit this album doesn’t startle like These Hopeful Machines will on first listen. “Game Theory” is neat and does feel like a superb way for BT to start live shows as it builds, sets a tone, and then settles down into silence as the sounds decay. And “Wildfire” does feel like the album starting off proper with a light drum roll before getting into strings, dirty piano notes, and sounds focusing around, you guessed it, fire, to set a breakdown followed by the album’s first vocals. But even the choice of light beats and messier mid-pad work during the big chorus set pieces will make “Wildfire” feel just okay. The vocals by Breanna MacQuarrie are stellar, as well as the lyrics. But when this song gets to its real meaty later chunks, the highs and mids get torn to shreds by BT’s productions and the way it follows and interrupts its own 4/4 patterns feels standard for BT affair. He even pulls in a xylophone note progression that’ll remind you of “In the Air” with Morgan Page. None of this is bad in the long run, but it’s not the most shocking start either.
By this point though, you’re in, and on repeat listens Wildfire feels like a good song to sing along to as you’re getting started. “Walk into the Water”, however, is where the album pulls its big winner performance. As the longest track on the album, it has easily earned the reputation that already sits at the center of it all. BT pulls out special water intro stunts to make listeners sink into water before they listen to low-fi string sampling and plucking set a gorgeous water fantasy theme before it all drops out. Piano, some reverb, and techniques BT used in a film score to make Nation of One’s vocals gain and lose liquid-esque depths. No, I can’t make it make more sense than this, you just have to listen to the album to get it. It’s astounding, and that’s just the opening verse. The album kicks up with expertly programmed drum work by Matt Fax interlaced with this awesome light grunge pad work and a constantly repetitive metallic effect that feels crystal clear. The cycle repeats with Nation of One on vocals through verse and chorus again and again with the song never really allowing itself to settle back down to the vibes in the start until it’s over. The aforementioned influences from Ima make their shine here with a background piano job moving upwards across the keys much like on Ima’s “Poseidon”, with what sounded like clicking dolphin samples in the breakdown ala “Embracing the Future”. It’s all here, and in tracks like this that feature fantastic versions of modern trance aesthetics, BT won’t forget to include some classical elements like horns to back Nation of One during the second or third breakdown. Tracks like this happen for BT happen once every dance album or so, and they’re moments to revel in as picture perfect examples of where we can take dance music if artists commit to doing more than just the club standards. Working with writers, vocalists, and implementing more than just club sounds into the mix makes for something truly memorable.
The album takes a breather on “1 AM in Paris”, maybe the most lean track on the album in terms of what it brings to the table. It’s a simple progressive house track with a lot of nice BT touches in the synth work while the drum programming was fancied up by Matt Fax again. It’ll sound familiar to “The Noetic”, but it takes a nice stroll instead of an arena boom. After the massive storm that is “Walk into the Water”, the song paces the album well. Things taper off a tad further at first with a vocally filled string intro to “The Light is Always On”. But anyone who sees Au5’s name in the song title will know this track turns into a melodic dubstep beast. What you maybe won’t see coming is the advanced vocal processing work to make Mangal Suvarnan’s chopped vocals feel fresh as a breath mint or the beautiful wind instruments on the outro. Au5 has a tendency to push things to 11 again and again and I find his dubstep pieces that either go full liquid chill or something in the middle are more of a treat (think “Watership” or his remix of his own “Emergence”). “The Light is Always On” is a fine example of this. It’s a track gravitating towards something more chaotic, but floating in between chaos and calm perfectly.
But if you want full on chaos, look no further than “The War” with Irina Mancini. Here we get an absolute mesmerizing hook of a chorus working alongside a heavily produced journey through all things drum and bass. First it’s a live orchestration of breakbeat before the song blows up into a trap beat for the first chorus, then by the second chorus we’re wrapped up in a breakbeat breakdown before things go full IDM/DnB/trap all at once the third time through. It was one of the leading singles for the album and it only seems to get stronger with every listen, much like the rest of this album. Half way through, we get “Weltanschauung”. As mentioned earlier, it’s an excellent take on the 80s by making trance aesthetics present there instead. The bass and kicks are so very 80s and disco/house-pleasant, while the synth work is jazzy in the first half before turning into crescendos and lifts in the back. As track 7 of 14, at the end of disc 1, this song also manages to have wild opening and closing electronic elements that give this moment on the album an almost reflective ball-like effect. It feels well placed to wrap up disc 1, which, if I’m being honest, is where most of my admiration for TLAOL sits.
Disc 2 isn’t bad either, but from track 8 onwards the album is charging to get to the end. And at this point we’re spending less time developing the introductions or outros to any one track. But as a result TLAOL gets to have more fun with these later tracks in different ways. “I Will Be Yours” is a fantastic example of this. It starts right off the bat with melodic shiny keys and a verse sung by BT within the first minute. This unrequited love song isn’t the first of its kind for BT, but definitely the first of its style. On my review of Solarstone’s EP2 I called “This is Where it Starts” a happy joy jumper and I think “I Will Be Yours” fits in that idea perfectly. The breakdown even features some slap bass to let you know just how fun this track is supposed to be. In the early days after the album’s release I found this fan summed up one’s relationship with the song perfectly.
A track later we get BT with tyDi as alter-pop-ego “Wish I Was” and Lola Rhodes on “If I Can Love You Right”. The pop song sensibilities are much stronger on this half of the album to good effect. This track features fun grungy basslines at a slower dance tempo, but don’t be surprised if you catch yourself dancing and singing along before long. Then, the album takes a brief respite to give me one of my initially favorite tracks on the album, “Never Odd or Even”. YouTube electronic critic TheWonkyAngle pointed out on his review that this track, on repeat listens, becomes one that speeds by really fast. I do find this true. And yet I absolutely love the work going on here. Early field recordings sound like some train work put through a lot of filters while vocal samples will remind you of some of the ambience on the start of “PARIS” on BT’s Emotional Technology. Strange and interesting callbacks if intentional, but I’m down. Never Odd or Even is a developed deeper melodic trance piece taking advantage of layered guitar licks and loops to make for a hypnotic time. I think that’s why down the road this track will zoom right by despite being 8 minutes long. Personally I’m a sucker for neat guitar work like this so I give most of the track’s credit for that.
“Windows,” in my personal stance, is maybe the most under-developed or less thought out track on the album. It’s good, and it features more of the same great balancing tricks we’ve seen so far leading up to this point on the album. Catchy chorus and vocal work with April Bender (seriously, BT seems to function so well with other artists), the most delicious of “modern trance” electro-bass work and a cool keyboard pad during the verses and build-up. It even has a nice little slowdown at the end. But it is the shortest track next to the outro finale and really feels like a segue of sorts. The album would lose very little by removing this one in my opinion. “Red Lights”, despite being good, also continues that vibe that the album is searching and digging for a moment on disc 2 to really wow us. Red Lights tries to manage this by pulling out a song with Christian Burns, which will inevitably draw out references to All Hail the Silence. I did this very thing on Twitter when first hearing the album. Fact of the matter is is that BT and Christian really work on a fantastic wavelength these days, the music they build together just bleeds a love for the 80s in all sorts. Red Lights takes more of a new wave rock approach though, less pure 80s synth work. None of that makes this track bad, it’s still a great time that feels well done. Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself drawing the comparison like I did instead of enjoying it for the thing it is.
It’s on the track before the last where disc 2 finally finds the thing it had been searching for all along. Disc 2’s footing and grounded moment is the big climax of TLAOL: “No Warning Lights”. It’s a well crafted, nicely developed anthemic trance piece with Emma Hewitt at the helm. Aquatic themes are everywhere again much like the counterpart Walk into the Water, but “No Warning Lights” spends a lot of time broken on rocky shorelines with piano and string interludes. BT provides some wonderful backing vocals to work with Emma in a neat way. It’s a big number that worked hard for its payoffs. Once “No Warning Lights” fades, the album comes to a stop a few minutes later after a short heartfelt finale with Christian again on “Save Me”. Back on the Underscore album, there was 4K drone footage captured when listening to the music of that particular album’s tracks. Interestingly, “Save Me” feels like a song built for that same treatment (maybe in music video form). It’s a brief goodbye song, pondering the future, looking at the present. It speaks about being in a no man’s land above the rooftops, beneath stormy skies and the music really is a floating space, lifted and moving towards something else. One of the last lines is a major curiosity for me, even though BT’s lyrics rarely reveal much about himself: “Standing here in no man’s land, with this weight upon my back, well I know that it’s something worth fighting for, but I know when it’s time to stop (last chorus after)”. I don’t know what to take from it, and knowing BT, probably nothing major. But it gives the album a wind of change by its end, something people may be longing (heh) for here in late 2020.
My Experience with Longing and TLAOL
TLAOL was released on August 14th, 2020. Because of COVID-19, my pre-order copy of the CD would obviously take a couple weeks to get to me. After all, Magik Muzik (the sub-label responsible for the CD distribution of this album) is in the Netherlands. To add salt to the wounds of waiting though, there was a 2-week delay due to some issues getting artwork printed (spoilers: The artwork in the booklet is nice, but we’re never getting another booklet like These Hopeful Machines’s). Here was my delay e-mail I got from Magik Muzik.
For the record: Magik Muzik was nothing but helpful when I asked for an update on this a month later. But the two week delay got worse and the actual shipment didn’t take place until September 14th, a full month later. The CD got to me two weeks after that on September 28th. I waited to get my CD copy and give that version a few listens before finishing this review because, well, I think I established why way back at the start of this review. I did want to be able to listen to this album in the car going back and forth to work, or at home on personal time, or even at work. And, since the CD copy didn’t come with a digital download (I honestly would’ve been more likely to use that than 14% off Magik Muzik’s store, but that’s okay), I was stuck listening to it through Spotify. I even subbed to Spotify for one month to listen to it during those first few weeks out the gate. I won’t get too much into the particulars of how the album sounds on Spotify vs. a CD copy (Wildfire sounds vastly better on CD though), but I wanna get into this idea of longing in relation to this situation I was in. The album was here, but for me to really get it in the way that I wanted, I had to wait nearly an extra 45 days.
When pondering this dilemma on Twitter in response to BT marketing up the album, he had this to say.
Permit me a brief moment to be apologetic towards BT on this matter before I critique the album’s idea in context of the culture and time it came out. BT has to market his own albums. He does have people who help him, clearly, I’m sure he didn’t make any of his promo materials, and I’m sure they do get paid to do that work. But time leading up to and after his album launches, he’s all over social media firing off responses and trying to get people excited for the album. It’s the modern game of making money as an artist. Make the thing, make sure people know about the thing so they show up, and hopefully they like it. The fact that BT didn’t spend months showing off this album snippets at a time like some albums get campaigns for these days just makes me feel like he had to weigh the odds of waiting to release this album now or later when (or whenever) COVID gets a bit more under control in his home country. If you’re not from America or don’t pay attention to the news, that probably won’t be anytime soon.
BUT, I would not be a responsible critic about TLAOL if I didn’t share this interaction in which I’m contemplating extending my time longing for this album so I can enjoy it in the semi-physical medium in a particular way that befits BT’s notion of longing described when talking about this. And not waiting means enjoying it in a way that doesn’t really match these ideas at all. Instant gratification vs. waiting, and instant gratification still won out. The album was OUT NOW, and I wanted it now. So I subscribed to Spotify for a month to give the album several listens before unsubscribing after that month and figuring I’d continue waiting.
So TLAOL accomplishes some things when it comes to longing. It’s another experience that’s harder to just jump around and listen to particular tracks, it’s another album that invites you on a journey like many BT albums have before. But it’s not gonna topple the machine and make people enjoy it ONLY in ways that are better for us. The mechanism of TLAOL’s release and delivery don’t adhere to the means that focus for longing in the eyes of this millennial who so often stands on that dividing line between the physical and the digital. In some ways, the first EP promo for All Hail the Silence meets this definition better. It was vinyl only first, then digital later. But I can’t knock BT for trying. You certainly won’t find this type of musical experience with most dance artists out there.
BT has released a 93 minute dance music album to a world that demands music get to the point more and more these days in an age where less importance is placed on the means of music production. It’s a challenging thing. But, The Lost Art of Longing is 93 minutes of musical craft worth your time and a price of admission, wholesomely dedicated to giving you something worth your time and worth the efforts of its production. Who knows, you may find yourself longing for more of the same.