The creative process can too often be one of endless layering. Weaving intricacies on top of one another, original ideas tread the fine line between being smothered or embellished. It’s for this reason, then, that simplicity is habitually the hardest tone to strike. Yet, Essex-based producer Stuart Howard, aka Lapalux, is peeling away at the layers in his third LP, Ruinism, gesturing towards a disintegrated core.
Howard, the first British producer to be signed to Flying Lotus’ LA-based Brainfeeder label, is not one to shy away from centring albums around thoughtful concepts. His debut, 2013’s Nostalchic, was a playful electro-R&B musing on the nostalgic mining of samples, as suggested by its portmanteau title. 2015’s Lustmore explored the creative space between wakefulness and sleep – hypnagogia – resulting in thirteen tracks of down-tempo, glitchy melody enlivened by the vocal features of Andreya Triana and Szjerdene. Now, Ruinism extends the metaphor of sleep into the realm of death, meditating on the spaces between life and its end. Inspired by the theatrical score Howard composed for an art piece performed in an East London cemetery, it takes the disintegration and decay of the ruin as both its concept and means of music making.
Read the rest of the review in Clash Magazine.
[This piece was published on 11/07/17]