Brain Feeder Records, 2013

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


The brain child of UK electronic producer Stuart Howard, Nostalchic might be his debut but it certainly doesn't sound like it. An extremely well constructed meshing of R&B, soul, jazz, and hip-hop, Howard uses looping, sampling and beats as well as haunting, futuristic, and blurry vocals to deliver a kaleidoscope of sounds that piece together various pop, dance, and rock ideas. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

A highly intricate album, every song here probably saw as much work put into it than most artists entire LPs. “Without You,” one of the calmer tracks with Kerry Leatham on vocals, uses moody R&B synth looping to its advantage. The layering is at an all time high on “Flowers” and “Guuurl,” and “Straight Over My Head” gets glitchy with finger snaps. The only somewhat ordinary song here is “One Thing,” where Jenna Andrews' sultry voice nearly steals the show. Vocals are used often as instruments all over this: “The Dead Sea” inserts repetitive whispering against vinyl hissing and the sampled rap pieces on “Kelly Brook” work well against the busy, noisy walls of sound. “The Dead Sea” winds a different path entirely, illustrating a keen sense of jazz dynamics amid the electro-weirdness.

For those who can't appreciate the massive amount of slicing, chopping, and inserting of sounds into these songs, it's important to note that underneath the nonstop scrapbooking of genres lies a pop foundation of melody and hooks. If this album existed ten years ago one would think this type of music would be commonplace in 2100 not 2013. Lapalux's sci-fi, maximalist atmospheres and unparalleled emphasis on layering and texturing make this hip-hop and house music disguised as soul and R&B highly entertaining and interesting. Nostalchic succeeds in harnessing the power of electronic music and probes its seemingly endless possibilities with great results.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2013 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Brain Feeder Records, and is used for informational purposes only.