Lapalux: "I Love Creating Warm, Gritty Sounds and Then Polishing Them Up"
Photo by Megan Sharp Lapalux
To call Lapalux's music simply lo-fi is just lazy.
There are far better ways to describe the British musician's work -- warm, full-bodied, and richly textured. And now with a proper full-length, Nostalchic, released via Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder label, Lapalux (AKA Stuart Howard) has shown that his sound may only be getting more complex. The album meshes R&B, soul, house, and hip-hop with, yes, a lo-fi sensibility.
Lapalux is currently on a U.S. tour to promote Nostalchic, bringing him this Saturday to Bardot. We reached out to him via email to ask him about the lo-fi label, how we came to work with Flying Lotus, and his live performance.
Crossfade: Your sound is often called lo-fi. Do you think that's a good description of your music?
Lapalux: Yes, I do, but I like to think of it as a very polished kind of lo-fi. I love creating warm and gritty sounds and then polishing them up.
I tend to think of lo-fi music as very minimalistic, and while there are some of those qualities in your music, it's still very rich, warm, and textured.
I base my whole sound around textures and subliminal layers. I try to visualize it as a painting and how one would go about painting a picture, using different colours and mixing it all together in an abstract but coherent way.
You release music through Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder label. How did you and Flying Lotus come to work together?
I had released a small EP on a London-based label called Pictures Music. That gave my profile a bit of a kick and I hit up Brainfeeder with some new demo stuff I was working on at the time. FlyLo got back to me about a week later and the rest is history, really.
Nostalchic, your first full-length, dropped this year. Did you approach the creation of the album differently than say creating an EP?
Yeah, definitely. With previous EPs, I've tried to vary the tracks as a means to see what works and what doesn't work. When it came to writing the LP, I really wanted to sit down and work on something that was coherent and made sense in its own strange way. I was constantly going back to the tracks and altering them to make them fit into the full length.
What goes into your live performance?
A whole lot of love and energy served on a bed of noise.
A lot of fuss has been made about electronic artists "pretending" to perform live. So how much of your show is pre-programmed and how much is improvised on the spot?
Well I'm not doing a David Guetta, if thats what you're implying by pre planned. A lot of it is on the fly. Some of it is pre-planned as much as I think I know what I'm going to play and what I want to mess about with. It would be a poor show if I hadn't practiced my set before or just showed up with an iTunes play list and hit space bar wouldn't it?