Album Review

Some Other Time

Some Other Time

By Lapalux

Brainfeeder Records
8 / 10
1st November 2012

By Martyn Pepperell


Essex based bedroom producer/DJ Lapalux (Stuart Howard) is one of the master craftsmen of modern electronica. Since the release of his first limited run cassette tape release Forest (2008), Lapalux has been painstakingly sculpting out a sonic answer to the cubist art of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. Stacking idea upon idea, layer upon layer, through 2011's Many Faces Out Of Focus EP and the When You're Gone EP (released early this year), his fractured art music impulses deftly shifted into an avant-club music context. The result was essentially music for both the body and the mind, where cold futurist cybernetics inhale and exhale with a warm organic humanity, and a sense of depth and detail comparable to that seen when one places nature under a microscope.

For Some Other Time, his second Brainfeeder released EP in less than twelve months, Lapalux pulls back on the club impulses. Returning to the kaleidoscopic emotional motifs, decayed tape aesthetics and hyper-mutated consciousness shifting chords of Many Faces Out Of Focus, Some Other Time's five song sequence does however in another sense progressively build on When You're Gone through mix aesthetics. Creatively pushing what was becoming a glistening set of conventions into a soundworld of tonally chrome-plated sonic superstructures, Some Other Time's twenty so minute running time rumbles, chirps, twinkles and throbs with the weight of a million dollar commercial studio production.

Proceedings kick off with 'Quartz', where Lapalux matches childlike music box melodies with tape hiss, subwoofer rupturing bass notes. Followed by trunk tested drums, spoken word dialogue samples and celestial synthesiser lines, 'Quartz' creates a crystalline yet fuzzy setup for the circular rhythms of 'Jaw Jackin'. Borrowing rhythmic woodblock motifs, maxed out kick thuds and space chords from UK Garage and 2-Step, 'Jaw Jackin' builds on this with p-funk referential keyboard lines, yearning vocal samples and wormy alien synthetics. In the process Lapalux fashions a space riddled with counterpointed ideas, providing something new with every listen.

Track three, 'Forgetting And Learning Again' sees him wedding singer Kerry Leatham's decidedly English digi-soul "morning after" musings to sparkly sunshine melodies and subtle rhythm'n'bass interplays. Glitching out the instrumentation and Leatham's voice, Lapalux pushes massive yet decaying turbulent synth stabs and harder drums into the mix, building to a peak before letting the whole structure fade away. 'Forgetting And Learning Again' is followed by the hissy, post Dilla strut for 'Strangling You With The Chord', a song heavy on field recordings and found samples. Twisting this evolved hip-hop stance up with hard hitting rave synths and jazzy chords while ebbing and flowing in intensity and layers, it leads us into EP concluder 'Close Call / Chop Cuts'.

Letting elements drift together on sonic solar winds, 'Close Call / Chop Cuts' takes it's sweet time before erupting into a mercurial sequence of pitch manipulated vocals, melodies and rhythms become multifarious virtual reality club music. Lapalux knows something we don't. All signs point to a watershed breakthrough on the horizon for this singular talent.






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