Stream the electronic connoisseur’s jazzy Lustmore exclusively on Dazed
Lapalux’s Lustmore leaves you in a hypnagogic state – floating in a dream of happiness, euphoria and faux-consciousness. Its vibrant artwork – a fizzing cocktail within a sea of mirrors and picturesque spotlights – is reflective of the sensual, woozy nature of Stuart Howard’s second release via Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder label. “I really focused on making this album an imaginary visual experience,” says Howard of the record, which was inspired by old film soundtracks. Each track has its own characters, storyline and emotion, rendering Lustmore a uniquely retro-futuristic, cinematic experience – an alternative score to Blade Runner or 2001: A Space Odyssey, perhaps. “Whenever I think about the album I think about the bar scene in The Shining,” explains the electronic mastermind. “There’s something about that strange, hallucinatory, psychological madness that relates to the music.”
“Make Money” and “Push N’ Spun” encompass heavier, near-trap beats, while Bonobo-collaborator Szjerdene’s R&B vocals complement the downbeat production of “Closure”. Jazzy tones and synth droplets couple with Andreya Triana’s soulful voice on “Puzzle”, creating a sense of “lovelessness”, something which Howard says sums up Lustmore’s mood of “searching for something more lustful and fleeting.”
“U Never Know” (ft Andreya Triana)
I really wanted to set the tone of the record with this track. Setting up the dark, woozy, shifting landscape of the music that is to follow. The ‘I don't think you’ll know’ is describing the mysterious limbo-like state between waking life and sleep known as hypnagogia.
This track came about through messing with tape delay and looper. It’s like being lost in a sea of shit with no way out. Waves of shit keep piling up.
“Closure” (ft Szjerdene)
Really dug into the production of this one. A lot of time went into making this as big as possible and all the sounds were carefully manipulated to give a kind of polished R&B sound, but not in the new, fashionable, contrived way. It’s more like a synthetic orchestrated ballad.
This track came about as a result of spending a few nights out in Estonia for a mate’s birthday. There was this strange kind of deserted dumping ground that we found ourselves on where some really strange shit was going down. There were all these run-down ruins, this plastic and rubber garbage dumping ground and so many other weird things going down. Not to mention a couple in a van having sex in the middle of the day for everyone to watch. What made it weirder is I found this strange homemade kids’ piano that I took back and recorded as the main harmony part for the track. After a few nights there, taking drugs, drinking, it left me with this weird, disconnected, seedy kind of retro-futuristic feeling. This song was a result of all the strange shit that went down there.
“Push N’ Spun”
The most acidic of all the tracks. This one is based on the idea of a science experiment. Like a man making a robot or some sort of new brain-enhancing chemical. It’s like all the pieces of a strange electronic robot coming together and pretending to be organic.
I usually don’t sing on my stuff, obviously, but this one’s a kind of simple, falling-out-of-love-with-someone song, that I wrote. One of the simpler tracks on the record.
This is actually the improvised synth part in ‘We Lost’. I originally recorded this on its own using a looping tape machine. I bent it and moulded it to fit into ‘We Lost’ but thought it was too nice to just be released and buried in the track, so I wanted to release it as a track in its own right. I have a projector set-up in my room that I play clips from old movies on while writing, and this came out of watching a scene in Aliens where Ripley talks to Newt about never leaving her.
Ripley: I will never leave you. That’s a promise.
Ripley: [referring to the doll] Look, no bad dreams there.
Newt: Ripley, she doesn’t have bad dreams because she’s just a piece of plastic.
I went through many drafts on this one getting it just right. It wasn’t complete until I asked Mike (Lesirge) to lay the sax down. I really put my all into this one. I wanted to focus on the sultry kind of old bar vibe; where the room is empty apart from a few patrons and this singer comes on stage and plays this blissed soul sound that no one knows or recognises. A real kind of emptiness and depression. I think it sums up the whole feel and mood of the record. 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 also something comforting about it.
A sort of throwback Aphex. Very 90s hip hop groove. Almost Vangelis, kind of Blade Runner sound. Lots of layers that move together on this one. Again, this one went through many changes and versions to get to the final version.
“Don’t Mean a Thing”
Journey song. It’s real driving music. It twists and turns. It’s got that old gritty kind of lo-fi feel. I really put my all into this one.
A real challenge to make this one. I got into a lot of footwork stuff and got to play with the late, great Rashad before he passed. It’s a kind of an ode to him and all that he did. It’s a real ambient, kind of juke-y sound. I chose the song name ‘1004’ which means ‘angel’ in Korean numerical text language.
The all-out, abrasive, new-skool adventure. I wanted to put this in there to break up the tone and test the listener. It’s a conscious decision to break up the flow a bit and have something that maybe alludes to some future projects.
This is one of my favourites on the record. The stretched-out vocals I took from some work me and ShadowBox did a while back that never surfaced, it really made this track what it is. For me, this is the perfect outro to the record. A woozy, kind of ‘fuck you’ to everything – I’m leaving.
Lustmore is out April 6 on Brainfeeder