EDM has come to mean a lot of things. To some, it’s a movement rooted in innovation that unites the ever-evolving world of technological manipulation with our instinctual urge to groove. To others, it’s a broken record genre that glorifies any self-proclaimed producer with a Macbook and an ear for topical remixing. In today’s epileptic storm of online sharing, most artists will settle for any kind of attention. It’s those who opt out of the rat race, however, that are the ones to watch.
Stuart Howard, the man behind lo-fi phenomenon Lapalux, has been riding the internet trend waves since 2011, maintaining a low profile while releasing a steady stream of remixes and original content. With the release of his first full-length Nostalchic on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label earlier this year, Howard is gearing up for his first rendezvous with his North American fans and fellow producers.
His style is a decidedly polished framework of minimal percussion, embedded with a cacophony of field recordings and organic samples that he often records on the fly. While it encompasses aspects of dubstep, ambient pop and future garage, Howard’s music sits most comfortably in the in-between of labels and genres.
“It’s done its own little thing, really. I’m just the guy that makes the music. I don’t really focus on getting the maximum amount of plays. It’s a lot to do with FlyLo [Flying Lotus] and people I’ve toured around with, my profile’s got bigger with Brainfeeder and being associated with them. Since I’ve had an album out as well, I’ve had a lot of stuff that’s opened up to me. A lot of people are approaching me nowadays.”
Howard treats his production first and foremost as a personal creative outlet, an approach that sets him apart from many other producers in his league. “I always just make it for myself,” he states matter-of-factly. “It’d be cool if other people like it as well. The main thing is that it’s a release for me, to focus on something, to focus on my art.”
Backed by a creative team that values artistic freedom and integrity, Howard has been able to explore his work as Lapalux from a multi-disciplinary standpoint. “I get a lot of stimulation from visual art as well as movies and just generally being out and about and seeing new things and being open to that, getting ideas,” he explains. “I put the album art all together myself. It’s 600 or so photos that my dad and mum took when they were younger, when me and my sister were growing up… I go out with cameras and take photos of things and keep it all to myself, really.”
In today’s epileptic storm of online sharing, Howard’s humble approach to self-expression is astonishingly refreshing. Unaffected by the insatiable demands of today’s electronic scene, Howard is an artist among entertainers. He embodies the impermanence and fluidity of the emotions behind his music and reminds us of the importance of “just messing around.”
Lapalux is joined by Natasha Kmeto on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at Shine Nightclub in Vancouver.
By Melissa Syme-LapperBC, British Columbia