Blog Archives

ROSS FROM FRIENDS – FAMILY PORTRAIT LP

Having recently made his inaugural outing on Brainfeeder with “Aphelion EP”, British producer Ross From Friends aka Felix Clary Weatherall returns with his debut album on Flying Lotus’ label. “Family Portrait” is characterised by a perpetual desire to experiment and Felix’s obsessive attention to detail, somehow marrying an intricately layered production style with warm, heavily saturated sonics that elevate, rather than stifle, his melodious funk. With a handful of revered 12”s under his belt via Breaker Breaker, Lobster Theremin, Distant Hawaii, Magicwire and a 10” on Molten Jets. “Family Portrait” showcases his ability to shift and evolve, moving from the world of lo-fi to the world of FlyLo, he demonstrates a versatility exemplified by the ease in which he can switch between playing shows with Little Dragon, holding down a peak-time slot in Berghain’s Panorama Bar and performing live at Maida Vale for BBC Radio 1.

The culmination of almost two years of intense studio time, working 20 hour days, and often spending months perfecting just one aspect of a track. “I tried to be careful with every single sound” he explains, “Trying new things, making a bit more of an explosive sound”. The album also finds Felix recording his own voice for the first time, with the resulting tracks acting as snapshots of his personal life while recording. “Every time I went to make music the things which would really grab me are the emotional things, and while I’m in that place I felt I could really focus on the track. That was a massive part of this album, tapping into my emotions… into my emotional instability”.

The album title – “Family Portrait” – also nods to a very specific personal aspect of the record: the influence of his parents. Dance music has always been a feature in Felix’s life, with early memories of his dad producing music on his analogue set-up, or pumping out hi-NRG tracks on the turntable, he grew up discussing, sharing and learning about music from his dad. “My dad has been hugely influential to the whole thing,” he explains. However it was with the emergence of some old family VHS tapes, and the story of how Felix’s parents came to meet, that the true significance became clear.

Having built up a sound system in the 1980’s while playing at various squat parties around London (including the then derelict Roundhouse) Felix’s dad decided he wanted to get out of the capital and see some of Europe. He got his hands on a bus and started putting word out through a network of like-minded friends and acquaintances. At the time just a friend of a friend, the trip caught the attention of Felix’s mum-to-be, who offered to document the whole thing in return for a seat, and in 1990 they loaded up the sound system and hit the road. Travelling through France, Belgium, West and East Germany (though returning through a unified one) and beyond, setting up in towns to share their passion for the sounds of hi-NRG dance, Italo disco and proto-Techno through spontaneous parties in whatever venue they could find.

As integral to the Ross From Friends identity as the recorded music is the live show, the two having always existed in tandem. Enlisting the skills of two friends, John Dunk on sax and keys, and Jed Hampson on electric guitar, to build out his arrangements into a show which works as well on a festival stage as in a club. The band head out on a headline tour in September, with appearances at Primavera Sound, Field Day and Kala Festival this summer to name a few.

“Family Portrait” is released on vinyl, CD and digitally via Brainfeeder on 27th July 2018.

Video: Lapalux – Petty Passion

Taken from ‘Ruinism’, out now via Brainfeeder.

Lapalux – 4EVA feat. Talvi

British producer Lapalux shares a brand new track – ‘4EVA (feat. Talvi)’ – via The FADER. Lifted from his forthcoming album “Ruinism” on Brainfeeder, the instrumental was born out of a jam session playing guitar, Korg Polysix and messing about looping a cassette, but it didn’t gel until Lapalux reached out to Talvi. “I’d been a fan of her band Prince Innocence for a while and loved her low slung, seemingly effortless style of singing,” says Lapalux. “As soon as I got the vocals from her it all fell into place and I rebuilt the whole song again to fit around them”.

“Ruinism” is released via Brainfeeder digitally on 30th June 2017 with vinyl and CD formats following on 28th July, including a superlative and strictly limited edition deluxe vinyl 2LP with gloss and emboss detailing produced in collaboration with Parisian atelier Imprimerie du Marais.

Lapalux – Flickering feat. JFDR

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Today Lapalux shares a new track from his forthcoming third album for Brainfeeder – “Ruinism”. ’Flickering’ features vocals by Icelandic singer Jófríður Ákadóttir (JFDR) of the bands Gangly, Pascal Pinon and Samaris.

“Stu [Lapalux] and I got together in London when I had just run out the door in Iceland with my laptop and passport – and literally nothing else – so I was in a perfect state of chaos, freedom and exhaustion,” says Jófríður. “The tune came together quite quickly, the only rule I got from Stu was that it couldn’t be about ‘love’. I really like the result, it has a perfect balance of that melancholia-but-you-still-keep-on-going feeling.”

“Ruinism” is released worldwide on 30th June. Amongst the formats is a stunning deluxe blue vinyl 2LP package printed by the high end Parisian atelier Imprimerie du Marais.  Listen back to Lapalux onWorldwide FM celebrating Synth Day (in honour of Bob Moog’s birthday) yesterday here.

Stream / pre-order: https://lapalux.lnk.to/flickering

LAPALUX – Ruinism LP

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Lapalux will release his third album, “Ruinism”, on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder imprint on 30th June 2017. His previous long player, “Lustmore” was partially inspired by the concept of hypnagogia, a suspension of consciousness occurring between awake and sleep states. Throughout “Ruinism” the British producer takes this exploration further, journeying into the more ominous limbo between life and death. In this space where the finite and infinite intermingle, Lapalux sounds more at home than ever.

“‘Ruinism’ is a made-up term I use to describe the way in which blended sound palettes and inspirations interact with one another to form this album,” he explains. Using 100% hardware and real instruments for the first time in his career, he recorded synths and drum hits and re-sampled, re-pitched, twisted and blended the sound “until it was ‘ruined’” and then salvaged it again in an attempt to make something coherent.

Lead single ‘Rotted Arp (feat. Louisahhh)’ imbues this idea more aptly than any other track on the record according to Lapalux. “It sums up the whole idea of this record… having Louisahhh’s vocals made me think of this track as a much more meaningful piece and helped me push it further and further into a developed abstract dance track”.

Elsewhere on the album, the ethereal ‘Falling Down (feat. JFDR)’ communicates a near angelic sense of hope and possibility despite the inaudible nature of granulated vocals performed by Icelandic singer Jófríður Ákadóttir (JFDR) of the bands Gangly, Pascal Pinon and Samaris. Similarly, ‘4EVA (feat. Talvi)’, winds through a cloudy haze reminiscent of the space between life and death and remains there like a slowly dying pendulum. There’s a warm elevation across the female-driven tracks that, as it unfolds, stand in stark contrast to the industrial and often discordant beginning of the record, most noticeable on cuts like the menacing ‘Data Demon’ and chilling opener ‘Reverence’, which was inspired by French Dada artist Frances Picabia’s 1915 painting of the same name.

Recruiting Marielle Tepper as Creative Director on “Ruinism”, the physical formats include a superlative and strictly limited edition deluxe vinyl 2LP produced in collaboration with Parisian atelier Imprimerie du Marais. It’s available to pre-order now.

Lapalux will play a trio of album showcases in London, Paris and Berlin at the end of May.

Lapalux – “Ruinism” Live:
25 May Mick’s Garage, London – http://bit.ly/2oJcj4c
26 May Point Éphémère, Paris
27 May Gretchen, Berlin

Tracklist:
1. Reverence
2. Data Demon (feat. GABI)
3. Petty Passion
4. Rotted Arp (feat. Louisahhh)
5. Falling Down (feat. JFDR)
6. Displacer
7. 4EVA (feat. Talvi)
8. Essex Is Burning
9. Flickering (feat. JFDR)
10. Running To Evaporate
11. Phase Violet
12. Tessellate

Pre-order: https://lapalux.lnk.to/ruinism

Thundercat – Drunk LP

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Thundercat will release his third full-length studio album “Drunk” on 24th February 2017 via Brainfeeder. The album is a 23-track epic journey into the often hilarious, sometimes dark mind of the Grammy-winning singer/bassist and finds a few of his friends joining him along the way including: Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, Michael McDonald (Steely Dan/The Doobie Brothers), Kenny Loggins (Footloose / Top Gun), Wiz Khalifa, Kamasi Washington and Brainfeeder mastermind Flying Lotus. “Drunk” is the follow up to his widely praised 2015 mini album “The Beyond / Where The Giants Roam”, and features fan favourite tracks ‘Bus In These Streets’ and ‘Them Changes’.

‘Show You The Way’ is the first single from “Drunk”, and the ballad features two of Thundercat’s heroes: iconic musicians Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald. Thundercat mentioned his love of Loggins several times during his press tour for “The Beyond…”, leading to an introduction via his keyboard player Dennis Hamm. He said in a recent interview: “These are guys that I’ve listened to and where I felt that I’ve learned that honesty in the music. Kenny Loggins is one of my favourite songwriters.” Loggins was the one that suggested bringing McDonald in on the track and, Thundercat adds: “I think one of the most beautiful moments was realising how amazing Michael McDonald is. He would go through so many ideas and have so much to offer.”

Thundercat also notes: “That song to me is about going down the rabbit hole, taking you to another place… On the edge of dark, there’s the brightest light. It means a lot to me in the sense of… the experience that I’ve had growing up with friends and people that I’ve been around where it’s inviting them into where I come from emotionally. Sometimes it’s a pretty intense thing. The point is how weird things can get. I feel like it’s very funny that, in a way, of course Michael McDonald and Kenny would be there.”

The album title, like the rest of the album, is meant to be both humorous and serious. “I’ve always tried to hold true to what Erykah Badu and Flying Lotus told me: It has to come from an honest place. I feel like it’s a place that I’ve been in different ways, seen different angles of and it’s been a bit inspirational – the drinking. It has its ups and downs and everything, but I felt like it showed the human side of what goes on behind things, something that I see with all of my friends… I felt like it was kind of interweaved in the music culture. And it’s something that’s never talked about.”

For more on the album and “Show You The Way,” read an excerpt of Thundercat’s upcoming Red Bull Music Academy Daily feature here

“Drunk” is released on 24th February on CD / Digital formats via Brainfeeder, with the vinyl format – comprising four red 10”s housed in a lift-off box featuring photography by Eddie Alcazar and artwork by Zack Fox – following on 10th March 2017. All formats are available to preorder now

Tracklisting
01. Rabbot Ho
02. Captain Stupido
03. Uh Uh
04. Bus In These Streets
05. A Fan’s Mail (Tron Song Suite II)
06. Lava Lamp
07. Jethro
08. Day & Night
09. Show You The Way (feat. Michael McDonald & Kenny Loggins)
10. Walk On By (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
11. Blackkk
12. Tokyo
13. Jameel’s Space Ride
14. Friend Zone
15. Them Changes
16. Where I’m Going
17. Drink Dat (feat. Wiz Khalifa)
18. Inferno
19. I Am Crazy
20. 3AM
21. Drunk
22. The Turn Down (feat. Pharrell)
23. DUI

Kneebody & Daedelus – Drum Battle

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The theory of technological singularity – the notion that humans and computer technology will increasingly blend together – has been explored in many forms of popular culture since it’s conception. Over the past two decades, there has been a larger movement to integrate electronic artists and jazz musicians, often leaving the former as more of a sonic addendum (floating over the music) rather than an integrated part of the ensemble. Tasked with exploring a deeper synthesis of electronic and acoustic players, instrumental quintet Kneebody’s collaboration with electronic musician Daedelus in turn creates a true union of these disparate approaches to music and genre as a whole.

The collaboration between Kneebody – keyboardist Adam Benjamin, trumpeter Shane Endsley, electric bassist Kaveh Rastegar, saxophonist Ben Wendel and drummer Nate Wood – and Daedelus had its initial roots planted as far back as high school for old friends Wendel and Alfred Darlington (aka Daedelus). “Often when I lived in LA, I would go to practice saxophone at Alfred’s house in the bathroom next to his studio. He would knock on the bathroom door and say ‘Would you mind playing something on this track?’,” recalls Wendel. “So I ended up being on at least five or six of Alfred’s albums because I happened to be there practicing.

The pair’s early musical kinship in southern California seeded a connection that grew through numerous collaborations, recordings and live performances over the years, coming to fruition in an improvised performance in 2009 at “Jazz A Vienne” between their two primary music vehicles. When Wendel was awarded a composition grant through Chamber Music America based on the theory of technological singularity, it became a catalyst to write a series of pieces that would bridge the gap between the oft-indescribable world of Kneebody and the unique aesthetic of Daedelus.

When the quintet entered the studio with Darlington, the other members brought more compositions to the fore. “Ben approached me about trying to realize some of this music that was maybe different from the Kneebody spectacular – where they are always so through-composed – and do something that was more intimate,” reflects Darlington. The result is a ten-song set of original music that sits inside the rich pantheon of instrumental music, but with a modern sheen that takes the shape of a multi-headed beast straddling rock, jazz, and electronic music.

Eponymous debut available November 27 via Brainfeeder. Listen to “Drum Battle” below.

Thundercat – Them Changes

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Virtuoso bassist and singer-songwriter Stephen Bruner aka Thundercat returns to the Brainfeeder fold with his first solo material in two years, having already made outstanding contributions to not one, but two, of the greatest albums of 2015 – To Pimp a Butterfly and The Epic – by fellow Los Angelians Kendrick Lamar and Kamasi Washington.

Mini-album The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam picks up where 2013’s Apocalypse left off, with Thundercat joined on production duties by longtime sparring partner Flying Lotus for six spiralling excursions to the outer limits of jazz-funk. The legendary Herbie Hancock pops up on keyboards on ‘Lone Wolf & Cub’ and there are contributions from fellow Brainfeeder family members Kamasi Washington, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Mono/Poly on sax, strings and production respectively.

Stream ‘Them Changes’ co-produced by Thundercat and Flying Lotus, and featuring Kamasi Washington on saxophone. Mini-album ‘The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam’ will be released digitally on Monday 22nd June via Brainfeeder.

Video: Lapalux – Puzzle feat. Andreya Triana

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Having previously collaborated with incredible results not once, but twice – on Lapalux’s “Without You‘” music video and Nick’s short film Chrysalis in 2013 – Lapalux and Nick Rutter have joined forces once again to create a music video for ‘Puzzle’ feat. Andreya Triana from Lapalux’s second album Lustmore (recently released via Brainfeeder).

Starring James Eeles (Peaky Blinders, My Big Fat Diary) and a 1989 Porsche (model 944) it’s a tender and warped love story of a mechanic called Leon who is possessed by love, but no ordinary love… he has mechanophilia (the love or sexual attraction to machines, including cars). In an enclosed and surreal world where his dreams, hallucinations and visions feel wholly real, Leon tries to make sense of his spiralling emotions. And when the penny drops, can he make the right choice?

Lapalux – Lustmore – is out now on Brainfeeder. Lustmore Purchase Links: iTunes, Ninjashop.

Lapalux – Puzzle feat. Andreya Triana

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Stuart Howard aka Lapalux unveiled another tune from his sophomore album “Lustmore“. ‘Puzzle’ sees Brainfeeder’s UK representative bring in the soulful voice of British singer (and frequent Bonobo collaborator) Andreya Triana.

It’s a lovelessness,” Howard says, “searching for something more lustful and fleeting. It’s a very visual song for me. It’s about a sort of seedy, underground desire, like an old bar that used to have class, getting slowly seedier, to keep up with the demand for exploitation and filth. I think it sums up the whole feel and mood of the record,” Howard says. “That kind of sultry, seedy undertone and the pieces of the puzzle not fitting together properly, as if in a state of limbo where you don’t know where you are, but there’s something strangely comforting about it.” Those words could well be a credo for Lapalux’s wider musical vision.

Pre-order Lustmore and get an instant download of Puzzle (ft. Andreya Triana), Closure (feat. Szjerdene) and Don’t Mean A Thing: smarturl.it/lustmoreit.