Release Date: Feb 20, 2012
Record label: Brainfeeder
Let me propose two very different models of contemporaneity. The first is from Terry Smith, art historian and author of What Is Contemporary Art?, in an essay from 2006 (PDF link). “Contemporaneity,” Smith writes, “consists precisely in the constant experience of radical disjunctures of perception, mismatching ways of seeing and valuing the same world, in the actual coincidence of asynchronous temporalities, in the jostling contingency of various cultural and social multiplicities, all thrown together in ways that highlight the fast-growing inequalities within and between them.” Sonically, this is a version of the contemporary most obviously embodied in the music of James Ferraro and Daniel Lopatin.
LapaluxWhen You're Gone[Brainfeeder; 2012]By Will Ryan; February 9, 2012Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGTweetEssex beat maker Stuart Howard aka Lapalux comes from a line of contemporary producers raised on production software. Not as a single tent pole in a self-contained scene whose ideas are finessed by the confines and immediate feedback of a collective body, but a benefactor of small grassroots labels thriving primarily online. Labels like Brainfeeder that, despite gathering an international body of artists, are synonymous with a certain aesthetic and attitude.
Brainfeeder kingpin Flying Lotus has a talent for stargazing. The label's ranks include jazz fusionists (Thundercat, Austin Peralta), psych-rap futurists (Samiyam, Teebs), and the endearingly inscrutable (Matthewdavid) existing together in dazzling constellation. But when Baths signed to Anticon, Brainfeeder lost their experimental pop artist, the kind of producer who could marry head-swiveling beats to ghostly vocals.
Newly signed to Brainfeeder, Lapalux, the electronic alias of Essex's Stuart Howard, should have no problem fitting in with his hazily G-funkin' labelmates: warmth and fuzziness emanate from his music, and a typical track sports enough layers for a full album of songs. Where Lapalux departs from, say, FlyLo, then, is a finer point but a palpable one: as foggy as When You're Gone, Lapalux's Brainfeeder debut, can get over its seven tracks, it never fully sounds laid back, as if the producer is unwilling to let his sounds run as rampant or give into the funk quite like his Californian counterparts. Lapalux's focus, however, isn't necessarily a bad thing; the Brainfeeder aesthetic, indefinable as it's become since the relatively straightforward club sound of Martyn's Ghost People entered the fray, could probably benefit from Lapalux's compositional certitude, and any label is lucky to get its hands on such talent at the controls.
A genuinely brilliant EP, but its maker is still to reveal his full potential. Ele Beattie 2012 To cite the vajazzle as Essex's most innovative of recent exports would overlook the wonderfully weird work of Stuart Howard's project, Lapalux. After a cassette release on the small and crucial label Pictures Music and remix requests from Bonobo and Totally Extinct Enormous Dinosaurs, it didn't take long for Brainfeeder fat cat Flying Lotus to recruit him and his twisted, but on-point, pop melodies.