Since its inception in 2011, DJ/drummer duo Horizon Wireless has transformed into an entity of its own (you can read the entire backstory here). After playing countless shows throughout the northeast over the past decade, producer Harrison Waxenberg made a promise to himself and his partner, drummer Dan Lyons, that they were going to release the first official Horizon Wireless album before the decade ended. The process may have been long and grueling at times, but they were meticulous in making sure they created an album that reflected their experiences and represented their visions. They surely succeeded with Welcome to the Network, out everywhere today.
Horizon Wireless – Welcome to the Network – Full Album
The aptly titled debut album is the passcode that grants you access to the digital world that Waxenberg and Lyons have created. On Welcome to the Network, which was mixed down by Jesse Miller of Lotus, they aimed to create a beautiful balance between both electronic and organic instrumentation—to create an auditory snapshot of what their live sets feel like. The sonic terrain of this project has distinct features that capture the essence of Horizon Wireless. The evolution of this duo is beyond evident, their chemistry is undeniable, and each track takes you one step further on a galactic journey into the minds of Waxenberg and Lyons.
Opening track “Fly Me to The Sun” is an atmospheric blend of soul-shaking rhythms and mind-altering soundscapes, with all the vocal samples done by Waxenberg. The song carries listeners to a unique musical destination, and to slap a label or genre on it would be flat-out disrespectful to the sheer originality of the overall production.
“Soundwave” has a late-night, clubbing-in-Brooklyn feel to it (Horizon Wireless has always had strong New York roots). “Planet Hop” is another standout track Welcome to the Network, and the first of three songs on the album to feature vocal contributions by Harrison’s wife, Chelsea Waxenberg. This song is a true labor of love. It is deep and melodic, minimalistic when it needs to be, and layered with thick basslines throughout.
All of these are attached to brilliant drumming—that’s the kicker! The fact that they were able to mix live drums with these types of beats and pull it off in a way that sounds so natural is impressive. Dan Lyons deserves all the praise in the world for nailing these drum parts with finesse and style. While it was undoubtedly challenging to make sure they didn’t feel rigid and robotic, Lyons pumped life force into the music. The contrast of emotions that comes from a crispy ride cymbal swinging over a tech-house beat encapsulates all that Horizon Wireless i—an authentic blend of the past, present, and future of the music that’s been at the soul of the act for years.
A lot of electronic music feels stuck at the surface when it comes to soulfulness, but “Dance the Light Away” and “Centers of the Multiverse” easily buck that trend. While one track sounds like something that you’d hear at The Limelight during the glory days of clubbing in the early ’90s, the other one could be used in the score of a modern-day sci-fi film. The final track, “I Know You’re an Alien” features Jack Willard of Space Bacon on guitar. His riffs and chord choices fit over the foundation of the track, and the instrumentation adds a little something extra to the album.
Clocking in at thirty-three minutes, each track on Horizon Wireless’ debut album stirs up emotions and evokes deep thought. The music is obviously very danceable—even primal at times—but there’s a certain mysticism to it that is mindful and engaging. Whether you’ve been following Horizon Wireless since the early days in New Paltz or you’re just discovering them now, you’ll be thoroughly entertained while listening to this album. It’s been worth the wait to witness what Horizon Wireless has turned into after all these years. Welcome to the Network, everyone…
On December 13th, Horizon Wireless will celebrate the new release at Brooklyn, NY’s The Sultan Room. Billed as Welcome to the Network: An All Immersive Hi Tech Album Release Party, the event will also feature Beard-o-Bees (Jesse Miller of Lotus), Matt Carey, Indobeats, and Newphy Hundo. Tickets are available here.