Approaching Andromeda 

Approaching Andromeda


Feb. 22


The brainchild of Landon Lechner, a Raleigh-based guitarist and producer originally from Albuquerque, Approaching Andromeda’s self-titled debut fuses electronic beat making with the textures and timbres of guitar-driven post-rock across six intricately layered tracks, and it’s awesome. Lechner’s guitar work is on point throughout this instrumental album. His playing is technical without coming across as showy or unnecessary, a common pitfall for prog-rock musicians, and never sacrifices emotional communication for flash.

Lechner has observed of his own music that it “tends to feel both melancholy and hopeful.” Of the heavier moments on the album, the most spine-tingling moment occurs during the outro of the epic “Valse,” when a twinkling-star synthesizer arpeggiation abruptly gives way to a wall of thickly distorted guitars. But Approaching Andromeda isn’t strictly about brute force; airy synth pads, glitched-out drums, and spacy guitar sounds color often-beautiful downtempo sections.

The apparent attention to detail is remarkable, especially in headphones. It gives the impression of a meticulous solo musician who left no knob untweaked; each layer of instrumentation shifts dynamically, giving the listener a sense of continual motion. The swirling “East Bay Future” feels free-form and ambient until the complex drum pattern fades, and one realizes it’s not free-form at all, but organized mathematically.