LKHD (short for Langston Kelly Human DJ) uses his improvisational skills to create single-tracked, downtempo jams on the fly. You can also find him contributing horns and vocals to Pittsburgh funkers Starship Mantis.
The name Langston Kelly Human DJ sounds like a moniker that an alien would adopt in a pinch if it were trying to convince earthlings that it were one of us.
Person: “Wow! That creature just descended from the sky, synthesizer in hand, in a purple beam of light, and now it’s laying down some mellow beats! What is it??”
Creature: “I am Langston Kelly Human DJ. Do not be alarmed. I am here to generate combinations of soundwaves, varying in frequency and temporal spacing, that depress amygdaloid activity in human brain. Party on, my fellow hominoid primates.”
LKHD’s new album, Sunset, features a series of instrumentals that were recorded live in one take, no overdubs, no backing tracks. Songs unfold naturally and blend into one another, atmospheric synth washes complimented by bubbling percussion and subdued melodies that vary from track to track but remain a cohesive whole. The cinematic “Sherbert Sky,” part of a triad of sorts that also features “Buttery Light” before and “Viridescence” after, is propelled forward by a loping beat, synthetic strings, and moody piano. It’s already a good track, and then, around the four minute mark, a disembodied moan begins to wordlessly mirror the keyboard melody; it’s a haunting cherry on top that brings to mind Clams Casino‘s habit of warping the human voice into ghostly, unrecognizable forms. Perhaps this is Langston Kelly Human DJ’s attempt to connect with the denizens of our planet using sounds that we can understand. If so, it’s working quite well.