Nostalchic, the debut album by Essex-born producer Stuart Howard, who records under the name Lapalux, is the product of years of devotion to his craft and appreciation for the strange and magical alchemy of electronic sound manipulation. Howard’s early EPs were successful prototypes for his full length debut. Those early EPs were so well received that Lapalux was signed to Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label.
Beats Per Minute (formerly One Thirty BPM) - 75 Based on rating 75%%
LapaluxNostalchic[Brainfeeder; 2013]By Will Ryan; March 20, 2013Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGTweetLondon-via-Essex producer Lapalux, aka Stuart Howard, carries the torch for the Flying Lotus-run imprint, Brainfeeder, in the UK. Even before releasing his debut EP for the label, When You're Gone, Howard was marrying glitchy Los Angeles-esque beat philosophies with the sagging R&B-tuned sounds of his homeland. The presence of hyper-technical production chops marked Lapalux's earliest material via Pictures Music back in 2011 and since joining the Brainfeeder ranks, he's steadily shifted his attentions to melody and pop craft without sacrificing the heavily diced production techniques found on those early works.
Lapalux stands out as one of the more accessible producers on Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder label, making music that skews closer to pop than much of the hybridized production the label is known for. The Essex native, born Stuart Howard, showed himself to be a savvy deconstructionist on a pair of 2012 EPs. He took the raw ingredients of offbeat pop songs--melodic backbone, diaphonous vocals, clattering drumlines-- and shuffled them to create IDM tracks that felt inventive and accessible.
Germane to the album’s title, the tape warble demonstration on opener “IAMSYS” feels strangely quaint and unreal, as if staged for the audience’s amusement. It quickly gives way to playfully plodding drums and angelic vocals like a chopped-and-screwed Cocteau Twins. Curious yet claustrophobic, Lapalux’s transfixing Brainfeeder full-length will indulge with its beauteous unease.
It's no small feat to have Flying Lotus respond to a one-off email and subsequently end up as the only British artist on Los Angeles-based label Brainfeeder, but such is the fate of Lapalux. The 25-year-old Essex native's debut album, Nostalchic, finds its strength within its layered approach, melding elements of R&B, hip-hop, house and soul. It's the textures Lapalux create that move and sustain the album — the stuttered, twitchy beats of "Flower" or the heavy distortion and controlled chaos atop the errant synths on "Kelly Brook." It's easy to see why Brainfeeder was eager to take him on.
British producer plays weird with his inspirations on a seductive debut. Louis Pattison 2013 Lapalux, aka 25-year-old producer Stuart Howard, hails from nowhere more glamorous than the countryside of rural Essex, but the music he makes is maddeningly, defiantly unplaceable, in time or space. That his debut album Nostalchic lands on Steve "Flying Lotus" Ellison’s LA-based label Brainfeeder – the result of a fortuitous shot-in-the-dark email a couple of years back – is probably the best signpost to the way his music sounds.