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It takes guts to drop your debut album as a 41-minute single track, even more so when it rarely feels like one. Take L.A. Takedown’s self-titled debut in the normal isolation of your headphones or speakers and it’s a disparate collection of instrumentals ranging from sultry bump ‘n’ grind to buzzing, battling synth. Watch it with its accompanying stream, however, and its audio-visual combination makes perfect sense with footage of LA’s postcard features adding a breezy, sunset context that brings the music to life.

In that respect, ‘L.A. Takedown’ is more of an audio-visual project, the two mediums complementing each other but to a point of fatal co-dependence. Streaming the album ahead of release was smart, but lose the context of the concrete and smog, the sunsets, the sprawl, and the stagnant traffic and ‘L.A. Takedown’ loses the spirit of the city it’s trying to capture. And when that happens, it becomes something else entirely: a score without the story.

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