please also visit myspace.com/lahto 





shadows of what we were was released a while ago. today it was reviewed on the silent ballet, an awesome website that covers mostly music of the instrumental persuasion. i will post the review below in the "albums" section.




the new album is finished. it is titled leaving behind the sun. it contains 5 songs and is 43 minutes long. please see the release information below!




i am currently working on new material. i have two tracks completed thus far ("drift" and "take my hand and come with me") with more to come. naturally, i am very pleased with the new material and, predicatably, i think it's better than anything i've done so far. please check back for more updates!

shadows of what we were (2007)


1:  separation; 2: kim; 3: a home for this; 4: for ligeti; 5: black & white; 6: cast on the wall; 7: opaque; 8: three marks of existence

"Tyke Chandler of experimental keyboard-based band Astral Academy has released a number of ambient albums on Academy Records under the alias Lähtö. His latest release, Shadows Of What We Were, recalls the works of Jesu, M83, and Double Leopards, by skillfully transforming his compositions through manipulation of layers of instruments in such a way as to be undetected by the listener, rather than harshly altering them in an ostentatious manner. However, Chandler retains a strictly ambient sound, combining organic and synthesized instruments into a mélange of melancholy tonality.

Chandler's overall semblance is not as minimal as musicians such as Steve Roden or Sawako.
Shadows of What We Were reveals that Lähtö is in line with the pursuits of a large proportion of ambient artists, as a sense of supernatant consciousness in the listeners is exploited through music. Occasionally, such an approach comes across as contrived, and isn't as truly 'ambient' in the Eno guise as it is gaudy and generic. However, Chandler presents his sound with sincerity and avoids the hollowness of less successful forays into this style. He has a way with subtlety that many aspiring ambient artists have attempted to effectuate. Shadows Of What We Were is equally as suitable for passive or active listening, and rewards subsequent listens with its intricacies, particularly with the variety of tone colours used throughout the album.

Opener "A Home For This" interestingly contains the most drone-based moments on the album. It achieves a quiet majesty, building from silence into a noisy harmony and concluding with uplifting reversed guitar effects. Notably, while it follows a fairly post-rock format, rather than moving clumsily through generic buildups, it morphs imperceivably. Additionally, the lack of a percussive presence, other than cymbals, makes it difficult for the listener to discern changes in the composition. On the other hand, "Black & White" offers a more sinister soundscape. Reversed piano possesses the mood of a thriller movie soundtrack. These are the more serene moments of being stalked in the harsh dusk. Chandler conveys mood proficiently throughout the album, and often moves from brooding etherealities to despair and joy within the course of a single track.

Later moments throughout the album present a sound that is more aggressive, using distortion and digital manipulation to interrupt (or complement) the more conventionally ambient, dreamy drones. Chandler seems to intend to make some tracks less seamless, forcing the listener out of the meditative trance this kind of music can sometimes provoke. Harsher moments usually work in, adding interest to what could be seen as an otherwise blank sea of ambient drones. "Cast On The Wall" and "Kim" are notable examples of where this approach is cohesively and tastefully applied. In "For Ligeti," however, it sits as an adversary to formless ambience, detracting from the effectiveness of both elements.

Tyke Chandler certainly has potential, as he continues to focus and refine each consecutive release. Lähtö in its present form has progressed from extremely minimal and slightly irritating into enchanting and graceful. Chandler's glacial soundscape experiments are sometimes unsuccessful, but occasionally achieve moments of remarkable tranquility. He is an artist that continues to find his ground, and like many others, he'll learn to hone this experimentation. Lähtö will certainly placate fans of formidable ambient drone, like Eluvium and The Dead Texan. With the dynamically changing sounds of Lähtö, one can only wait for what lurks beyond the
Shadows Of What We Were." 

free to download & distribute (click to download)!



leaving behind the sun (2006)

 spacey, beautiful drone! hidden melodies, transcendental noise. improves upon the lahto formula and creates another universe to sink yourself into. for fans of tim hecker, eluvium, tangerine dream, grouper, double leopards, and beauty! 


1: drift; 2: take my hand and come with me; 3: the night was green; 4: capsized; 5: harmony

here is an early review:

And so, here I sit on a Tuesday evening this December 12th.  It's cold outside, my world is wet from the rain of the day and I notice my good friend Tyke Chandler has his latest offering available.  I download in anticipation (what, with mentions of Tim Hecker and Eluvium who can't be excited].  As I hit play I am immediately placed into another realm.  My soul has been lifted out of me and placed into this dreamworld.  It's a world of rolling blue/green waves with sandy beaches and crystalline blue skies.  It's a world of green meadows with an umbrella of oak trees where I can see through the blowing leaves to fluffy white clouds painted on the deep blue canvas of the sky.  It's a world of majestic mountains where the fog flows in and out of the valleys with the river gushing beneath it.  It's a world of weightlessness.  It's a world of sheer beauty.  And it's so much more than that.  I don't remember the last time I was transported into a world like this.  Maybe the first time I heard Eluvium?  Maybe the first time I heard Tim Hecker?  Perhaps Birchville Cat Motel?  But, did it really have such an immense and overpowering effect on me?  I don't think it did.  I know it didn't.  Maybe this just happened at the right time in my day and my life.  Whatever the reason may be that I am absolutely blown away is, I'm glad this experience is happening.  This is music I was craving that I didn't even know I had a yearning for.  It's really something special when an album like this comes along and it's able to speak to me in such a way I never knew possible.  This is one for all-time, folks.  It's all-encompassing of everything I want in music.  

Tyke, I congratulate you, you've managed to move me and make me reflect more than just about any band I've ever encountered, second only to Explosions in the Sky or GYBE!.  You hit this one out of the ball park, and if your releases keep getting better and better I'm not sure if my body will be able to handle it.  My soul will explode because it's so overjoyed.

Thank you.  This is truly wonderful. 

a few other positive snippets:

: I'm truly awed by how beautiful this is.  It's majestic in its beauty.  The image that keeps coming to mind is of soaring slowly but steadily over a range of mountains covered in lush green trees, shrouded in mist and clouds.  Or of looking out over a vast expanse of rolling plains on a bright, sunny morning, watching the shadows of the clouds creep across the ground and feeling the breeze on my face.  Or of simply looking out the window at the sunlight filtered through the gently swaying branches of a tree, and everything seems to slow down and I'm enveloped in a blanket of warmth.  It's a highly evocative listening experience.

: it's like a kid stepping out into the sunlight after being in the dark for a long time.... (maybe first taste of freedom), everything's kind of hazy, as his/her eyes try to adjust, with brief flickers of images, but with an overwhelming sense of relief and hope.

: it feels like I'm in a freeze-frame of something devastating occuring- the world trade centers collapsing, Katrina tearing apart buildings, or something like that. Like, I can look around and see the panic and impending destruction, but I can't actually feel it happening around me, since it's a freeze-frame. 

free to download and distribute (click here)!


footnote ep (2006)

more focused, more refined, and much better than the previous lähtö release! footnote is an improvement and realization of what lähtö should have been from the beginning--majestic melodies hidden 'neath ambience and fuzz and distortion to create a unique experience!

When the first Lahto release became available, it was accompanied with a glowing description on this website from its creator, who made it clear that he was genuinely proud of what he'd created. Unfortunately, [many] disagreed and those many of us who admire Tyke for his outstanding taste in music were left wishing he would have put a little more time into his musical effort.

Well, he didn't let our cries go unnoticed, returning with this new EP. Unlike the debut which sort of buzzed irritatingly along in the background like some distant yet audible piece of machinery, Footnote is genuinely entrancing and at the best of times gorgeous. While there's a bit more variation than Departure, what really makes it worth listening to is the enhanced sound texture. This sounds a lot less flat and buzzy, instead creating a deep, comfortable ambience that dares you to become lost in it. Even the harsher "Aglow I" is vibrant and oddly beautiful in its own way.

There's one weak point on this EP though, and that's the 11 minute "Past". This sounds like a leftover from Departure, returning to that barren, ultra-minimalist approach that really sounds like it might as well have just been 11 minutes of silence. Still, it's clear that this is an artist beginning to realize his poetential.


1: poison dreams of men; 2: aglow i; 3: aglow ii; 4: sun comes down; 5: everything; 6: past

free to download and distribute (click to download)!


departure (2006)


1: departure; 2: glowing red; 3: descent; 4: smoke; 5: in a new shadow; 6: subconscious; 7: desolate shadows; 8: the blinking tower

free to download and distribute (click to download).