‘Beyond The Heliosphere’ is the sound of an artist honing and fine-tuning his craft. As a body of work it delivers an immersive and absorbing experience from beginning to end, somewhat remarkably so for a debut album. Confident, ebullient, thoughtful it carries the deft touch of a well-seasoned master yet has the energetic playfulness of youth. Throughout, techno remains the album’s backbone but we also find The Third Man moving from the shadows with shards of melody stolen from house, dub, italo, electro and experimental avenues. ‘Beyond The Heliosphere’ is nothing short of assured, accomplished and down right absorbing.
The Third Man (aka Toby Leeming) is a London based music producer who has presented releases on a variety of high quality, influential labels including Ai, ART and Tabernacle over the years as well as forming the production nucleus of new band Duologue alongside writing partner Tim Digby Bell. ‘Beyond the Heliosphere’ will be his first solo album and affords him the opportunity to explore music outside the realm of the dancefloor, on which much of his solo output to date has focused. Having recently taken a hiatus from releasing music as The Third Man, his return draws on a broad range of influences and the darker side of his music production.
"The album was very much compiled as such. As a journey and a hypothetical soundtrack to a film that never existed. The reason it took me so long to write my first album was because so many dance music albums have left me feeling cold and the ambition of this record was to deliver something that warranted listening from beginning to end, that takes you through scenes, snippets and moods of different spaces."
Waking with the rolling intro of ‘Sleep It Off’ that shimmers and glides with the cosmic flutter of a fledgling Model 500 we then find The Third Man finding his dancefloor stride with the building, scything body-jack groove of recent single ‘Double Dawn’. Whilst ‘Rise & Fall’ provides some dancefloor shelter with dark, atmospheric nuances ‘Betrayal of Another’ returns to the deep end of the dancefloor before ‘The Tracker’ strikes a pivotal techno blow.
Elsewhere we find Toby taking on dubbier elements via ‘A Hero Scene’ and ‘Beneath the Mine Chamber’, then the darker side of electro on ‘Battle for the Tabernacle’ whilst next single ‘Pipes at Helios Canyon’ is a future Moroder soundtrack in the making. Toby concludes via a brace of slowed down machine funk missives with the more introspective orchestration of ‘Lantern’ and hypnotic, ascending melody of outro ‘Free Man’.
Following recent single ‘Double Dawn’ backed with mixes from John Heckle and Claro Intelecto, The Third Man drops his debut album ‘Beyond The Heliosphere’ on EPM this May. A second single ‘Pipes At Helios Canyon’ follows in the summer with remixes from Legowelt.
Duologue’s debut album ‘Song and Dance’ is out now on Killing Moon.
01. Intro (Sleep It Off)
02. Double Dawn
03. Rise & Fall
04. Betrayal of Another
05. The Tracker
06. Beneath the Mine Chamber
07. A Hero Scene
08. Battle for the Tabernacle
09. Pipes at Helios Canyon
11. Free Man