Sometimes you come across a new artist, right out of the blue, and they instantly become one of your favorites. That happened over the summer when I got familiar with Belgium’s Ashley Morgan, aka. LTGL. LTGL as he is artistically known (and short for Living The Good Life) has been peppering the Internet and the underground with his own out-of-this-world beat music style in the form of bootlegs and freebies for a little while now. Having caught the attention and support from the likes of The Gaslamp Killer, Flume, Djemba Djemba, and Scratch DVA, LTGL hooked up with Belgian label Tangram Records to release his debut EP, Mountain Peaks And Temple Shields. Though the debut is only twenty minutes, in five tracks LTGL crafts an entire 3D virtual reality soundtrack inspired by a '90s kid coming of age story through a wonky and straight up trippy soundscape of hip-hop and Nintendo-inspired beat madness.
LTGL’s ability to synthesize the trends of today with the sounds of the scene’s most impactful artists of the last few years is truly special. In taking influence from the likes of Rustie, EPROM, Kaytranada, Mr. Carmack, Hudson Mohawke, and SOPHiE, LTGL has firmly placed himself at the top of a new crop of emerging and exciting talent. LTGL’s own sonic style isn’t limited to those inspirations as video game aesthetics in LTGL’s hands take their own unique shape alongside the inclusion of almost deliciously-self indulgent maximalist sampling; akin to a boy thumbing his way around a toy store only to set of an entire Rube Goldberg machine that clicks and clocks and bops and flops. The third track “Dream Connection” sounds exactly like what you might imagine with a swirl of gyrating synths in the melodic mix and the fourth track "Synchronized, not talking” continues on the same theme of swirling and twirling synth action, but turns up the wonk and quirk to about an 11 as LTGL channels his jazziness and delivers some seriously left beats. The EP’s final track, “Accelerator,” is one of the EP’s strongest and most accessible with it’s own slippery and sliding off beat boom-bap action, and is easily one of my favorites on the whole release.
The collection of tracks as a whole works as a cohesive release and sets the stage for even bigger things, but that said, at only twenty minutes long, the whole EP should be a digestible listen for anyone looking to get a listen in on what could be a big part of the future of the beat scene. LTGL, to me at least, is crafting a sound and vision with a completeness rarely seen today.