Primal Light, also known as Luke Jasem of San Diego, began composing electronic music at an early age to express a deep appreciation of nature and, more generally, the world. Inspired by a life-long commitment to shining light on the dark mysteries of the world, hence “Primal Light,” Jasem makes use of a wide variety of influences melding his concern with deep, philosophical questions and meandering long walks in nature to create heavily contemplative yet engaging cerebral soundscapes.
Released in September 2018 The Resident Spirit, is Primal Light’s second full-length and is perhaps best summed up as a journey that is difficult not to be pulled in to. A (mostly) mellow experience, this album is best listened to with your full attention, in a quiet dark space, maybe even with the presence of an edible or two. It is evocative, metaphysical, and carries a strong yet non-abrasive spiritual element.
Opening with “The Whispering Tree,” which features leaves crunching under someone’s feet as they walk through a forest, birds chirping, and throat clearing – sounds which are amplified and altered with effects – you immediately get a calm, gentle feel from the track. Aptly named tracks “Ego Death,” “Turn Back!,” and “Subliminal Connections” are progressive and meditative with atmospheric sounds such as a clock tower chiming. Nonetheless, the title track (my personal favourite) and “Overflowing” open up a more up-tempo, almost funky, beat-driven counterpart to the dreaminess of the rest of the album. The two sounds come together in a yin-yang marriage making the album both dynamic and well-rounded.
While I generally associate electronic music with more “harsh” tones, Primal Light does a beautiful job of synthesizing a unique blend of everyday sounds such as children’s voices in “There’s a Message Here,” as well as electronic instruments making for an aesthetically pleasing aural experience. Even if you’re not into probing the meaning of the universe, which this album definitely helps you do, The Resident Spirit also provides a delightful electro-psychedelic journey.
Written by Jordan Hodgins
*edited by Mike Milito