‘Ruinism’ is Lapalux’s third album release with Flying Lotus’ experimental label, Brainfeeder. On his previous records Lapalux aka Stuart Howard used a mixture of elements to create the rich textures of his unique sound, but with ‘Ruinism’ he decided to take a different path, using only hardware and real instruments to bring together its chaotic, yet beautiful soundscapes. Each instrument and note is expertly bent and distorted to within breaking point to create sounds which become brittle and sometimes abrasive. Then, as they are about to snap they are brought back to their ethereal beginnings.
“I would record synths and drum hits and re-sample, re-pitch, twist and blend the sound until it was ‘ruined’ and then salvage it again in an attempt to make something coherent.” – explains Howard.
‘Ruinism’ is a record that you can quite easily put on in the background as you go about your day, letting the other-worldly notes wash over you, but to hear its true colours you need to really concentrate and immerse yourself in its dense atmospheres. This is a record that deserves your best sound system or headphones to be enjoyed properly. With each listen you will hear a new melody or layer, something you hadn’t noticed before, and you will find yourself repeatedly drawn back for more.
Different voices filter in and out throughout the record, stitching together the narrative of the tracks. GABI provides a distant voice to smooth out the rough edges of ‘Data Demon’, Louisahhh rides the mechanical rhythm of ‘Rotted Arp’, with whispers of muted love – “If only I could feel nothing, hollow as a bell. I can hear my own heart ringing sometimes, singing clear and empty”. JFDR is welcomed on to two tracks with her Bjork-esque style, whilst Talvi brings a sultry R&B feel to ‘4EVA’.
It seems as if each of Lapalux’s releases are like watching a world slowly deteriorate. ‘Nostalchic’ was a luxurious, outlandish peek into the near-future, whilst ‘Lustmore’ began to show the cracks within this (on the surface) utopian society. Finally, ‘Ruinism’ pulls back the curtain to watch a world in turmoil, a once beautiful place falling apart at the seams.
‘Ruinism’ is available now via Brainfeeder.