Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Featured interview: Lorn

Lo-Quality will keep genre pretty vague here, simply noting that 23 year old Lorn makes emotive electronic music; reflecting on his environment and encounters, translated into moody beats and sweeping synths for his debut album, 'Nothing Else', out on June 7th.

 Credit: Nathan Osterhaus

"Genres and styles are irrelevant to me when I'm making and listening to music: I typically get drunk out of my mind and let things take their natural course," Lorn explains. "Paradigms and parameters are bullshit, and are especially silly in something like electronic music, where sounds and possibilities are virtually limitless. If I make a tune where a snare drum hits on the 3rd then it's 'dubstep'? Give me a fucking break. I'm not at all willing but categorisation isn't really something any musician can avoid, even on a track-by-track basis, so fuck it."

Featuring 12 tracks, the LP is the second release for Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder label, who contacted Lorn through Myspace after hearing an early version of his 'Tomorrow' track. "At the time I was finishing up 'Nothing Else' in upper Wisconsin and sent it over to him. Guess it stuck a chord with him... eventually we spoke at a Low End Theory gig I played, where he essentially invited me onboard the Brainfeeder ship. I had also met GLK, Daddy Kev, Samiyam, Ras G, Nosaj Thing, Kutmah - pretty much the whole team, so it was a good introduction to the community and extended Brainfeeder family. As far as what it's like to be released on the label, I'm honoured to be connected with a group of really amazing artist, musicans and pioneers," he tells us.

The tracks traverse from the eerie chiming and ticking of 'Grandfather' into the lamenting vocode of 'None an Island'; marching into a tremolo death ('Army of Fear') raising the kind of emotives that get Tim Burton hard, and the 'Ghostlawns' glitch-hop of Anti-Pop Consortium on 'Void I' and 'Void II'. Indeed the organs and arpeggios will please DJ Shadow fans, while the sounds of a robot contorting its own circuit board across 'Automaton' and 'Greatest Silence' gives technology fans a feel-good shudder down the spine. At times the music sounds as if it is being reflected back on itself, demanding self-awareness and imbuing an indeterminate surface.

The album was soon in the hands of Warp Records' Clark, who mastered a version of 'Tomorrow' which "completely fucking blew [Lorn] away". Flying Lotus and Lorn approached Clark eager for him to master the entire LP. "Clark has always been one of those artists who really cares about and experiments with how his music sounds," he reveals. "That kind of consideration is hard to come by in electronic music, which seems to be dominated by EQ / synth presets and stock sounds. To my own credit the original versions weren't too shabby but he really brought the best out of the songs. Someone once told me my tracks sounded like 'designer rust' - I'd say Clark added some essential years to the album's finish."

Lorn's 'Nothing Else' LP is out on Brainfeeder on June 7th

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