One of Ruinism's promotional shots is of Stuart Howard - for it is he that is Lapalux - dressed in a baseball cap, sweatshirt and a pair of jogging bottoms. In many other contexts for anyone processing that image some form of conditioning might start to kick in, judgment - prejudice, even. This quickly drawn conclusion may offer some kind of easily recognisable identity - the producer maybe as some kind of grime laptician, a boutique dark techno jammer or a purveyor of Rustie-esque nu funk and plasticised r&b.
If this was the outcome you'd be wrong and right on most counts. Holden's earlier works bore the hallmarks of the splenetic, genre bending Brainfeeder label on which he's made his name, but as if that weren't contrarian evidence enough of his qualities as a producer, Ruinism is precisely the record you wouldn't have expected him to make.
It also feels like the next destination on a mindful trajectory: previous Lapalux release Lustmore was partially inspired by the concept of hypnagogia, a suspension of consciousness occurring between awake and sleep states, but this time the pan is wider still, drawing in tangentially disparate elements such as cosmology and spiritualism.
Continue reading: Lapalux - Ruinism Album Review
Moogfest begins in just a few short hours; here's what you have to look forward to.
Named after America's main pioneer in the world of electronic music, Robert Moog, Moogfest is finally back after a brief sabbatical which saw them miss 2013 - to much disappointment from electronic lovers everywhere.
The much-adored Moog synthesizer is an incredible piece of equipment invented by a man who changed music for the better, so the fact that there's a weekend event named sharing the name is a thrilling prospect for musicians and fans alike. It began in 2004 and was eventually brought to Asheville, North Carolina in 2008 where it has stayed ever since. Not only have festival goers got a first-class music line-up to look forward to, Moogfest 2014 will also be hosting presentations during the day from both veteran music boffins to newcomers still experimenting with developing their sound. For all you synth-lovers out there, you will also be treated to various workshops which will no doubt give you an immersive experience into the heart of electronic music.
Essex-born producer Lapalux, born Stuart Howard, first gained notoriety only last year with the release of his two debut EPs When You're Gone and Some Other Time, and over the course of his three releases, it is clear that as a musician Howard is not afraid to push himself and branch out on his musical horizons. Whilst both of last year's releases had a distinctly pop-like structure to them, one that was rendered almost unidentifiable by Howard's extensive layering of various bleeps, clicks and samples, this time round his songs are a little more difficult to identify as the producer attempts to push his listeners further.
It is this experimental eclecticism that makes Lapalux such a good suit for the Brainfeeder label and you can tell that Brainfeeder's boss man Flying Lotus had a big hand in pushing the UK producer more leftfield. Album opener 'IAMSYS' sounds distinctly like FlyLo's own track 'Mmmhmm' and as the album progresses you can still pick up similarities between the album and some of FlyLo's more dreamy numbers. Still, Nostalchic is hardly a Brainfeeder tribute album as Howard often follows his own direction to conjure up something that belongs to him. What has resulted from this personal journey is an album that has been painstakingly pieced together, sample by sample, each miniature beep matching up with it's closest compatriot collection of songs that have that kind of Avalanches feel to them - it's as if he was given a large box full of various sounds and samples and pieced them together to make something that work. It doesn't matter whether he has to re-use the same piece more than once; so long as the finish product is worth it then his job is done.
Still, the album does have its weak moments, in particular on 'Kelly Brook' - a song that grinds and grunts in such an agonising fashion it renders the song almost unlistenable. It's so dense and confused and coming in so early on the album that you do have to take into consideration whether it's actually worth it carrying on with the rest of the album. Luckily though, this is the only real major misstep as Howard manages to reign in the rest of his hyperactive samples and keyboard tweaks for the rest of the album. His collaborative efforts are actually some of his finest productions on the album, particularly the Kerry Leatham featuring 'Without You.' What makes it such a standout track is the wraithlike tone that contrasts so well with the rest of the album's hyperactivity. Whilst the rest of the album has an otherworldly, outer space feel to it, 'Without You' is much closer to home and, despite it's relatively dark composure, it still manages to retain an element of warmth that some of his more upbeat songs seem to miss.
Continue reading: Lapalux - Nostalchic Album Review
Pssst! Hey, you! Yes, you over there! I'm a bit psychic and I can read people's minds. Because of that I know that you were about to say something dork-ish like "Uh, I ain't never heard of no Brainfeeder label, stush". Now saying dumb-ass stuff like that is gonna make you look seriously butters in public, so I'm going to be the very good Samaritan here and give you the juice on it, ok?
Continue reading: Lapalux, When You're Gone EP Review