Larry Gus – I Need New Eyes LP
DFA Records is finally ready to release “I Need New Eyes”, the new album from Greek producer Larry Gus. 2013’s Years Not Living was a masterpiece of composition, pushing sampling to its limits within a conceptual framework provided by Life A User’s Manual, George Perec’s postmodern fiction masterpiece.
I Need New Eyes treads familiar sonic ground to Larry Gus’ previous works – but his beatmaker percussion, shill falsetto vocals, and found sounds form a gestalt more concise and clear than ever. The references to literature continue – the title is based on a supposed quote by Proust, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” This record was completed amidst two life- changing events – the birth of his first child, and his participation in Red Bull Music Academy in Tokyo. (Fellow attendee NV contributes backing vocals on Belong To Love.) He explains, “When you have kids, you realize that all of the infinite branches that you were wishing to explore are starting to being cut violently with a axe (held by the baby), and all infinite choices in your life (and lifestyle) start to shrink and diminish slowly. I decided on the title the moment I got back from Tokyo, upon realising that I could never be able to live there, now that I have a baby”.
His lyrics are brought to the forefront here – covering a wide variety of anxieties, personal and professional. “Don’t forget, the success of everyone else always includes failed attempts / but why can’t I figure it out for myself” he howls over swirling drum fills on NP-Complete, “No more polite comments / at least not from my friends” he croons in A Set Of Replies. This feeds into an alternate meaning for the title – “I need new, less jealous eyes” because envy and jealousy and bitterness are also things that recur a lot in my lyrics, always related to other musicians and things that they achieve.”
In spite of the of the heavy conceptual themes, there is a true jubilance to the sonics of the record. Twinkling synths and orchestral stabs mingle with handclaps and a thundering kick drum on All Graphs Explored, while funk guitars and endless layers of percussion and brass build around Larry’s bilingual vocals, climaxing in a double-timed drum solo. This is a record for fans of Caribou, Can, Panda Bear, and self-reflection.
I Need New Eyes is released by DFA Records and [PIAS] Cooperative on October 2, 2015. Buy the limited blue colored vinyl / CD from DFA Direct!
My Friend Larry Gus, a documentary shot by Vasilis Katsoupis, premiered at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in July this year. More info here.