Without words to dictate meaning, electronic music is often prescribed the challenge of narrative through pure aesthetic sound. Lapalux, aka 25-year-old Stuart Howard, understands this better than most. The only UK artist signed to Flying Lotus’ beat-mecca label Brainfeeder, his 2013 debut Nostalchic showcased the atmospheric power of texture through elements of R&B, soul, house and hip hop, evoking nostalgic fervour with an infectious tint and lopsided swing.
Returning this year with his second album Lustmore, the young producer is taking narrative a step further, using an otherworldly sound palette to evoke deep and dark imagery within the listener’s mind. “Whenever I think about the album I think about the bar scene in The Shining,” Howard says. “There’s something about that strange, hallucinatory psychological madness that relates to the music, both in the making of the actual record and the way it sounds.”
Studying old film soundtracks was a hugely important process for the making of the album. “I really focused on making this album an imaginary visual experience. You can almost see these imaginary movies play in your head when you listen. That’s something that I really started to work into my music – the idea of creating imagery and characters, storyline, and emotion.”
Ahead of the album’s release on the 7th April, Lapalux picked out five movie soundtracks that made the biggest impression on him whilst concocting Lustmore. Check each of them out below accompanied by a few words from the producer, and get a vibe for each one with a specially curated Youtube playlist below.
La Java des Ombres – Gabriel Yared
This one is a real beauty. I can’t speak too much on the actual film but I remember picking this up in a record store a while ago. There’s a lot of inspiring parts to this soundtrack, particularly in its harmonic content. The way it shifts and turns through different keys and chord progressions is really quite beautiful. Also, there’s a number of parts in the first track where Franci’s vocals and the accompanying instrumentation ascends into complete bliss. A great soundtrack and a pretty rare find.
Heathers – David Newman
The great synthy keys on this soundtrack, and their combination with sampled and orchestral instrumentation, really inspired me in the making of Lustmore. The simplicity and effectiveness of Newman’s approach to this score made a lot of sense to me and I took a similar approach to the writing of my album. And who could forget that ‘Teenage Suicide‘ track? DON’T DO IT!
Laure – Franco Micalizzi
I’m not picking this purely based on the fact that it’s a softcore porn film, but that does help solidify the mood of the sultry soundtrack. The whole theme and variation of the main ‘Laure‘ and ‘Mara‘ tracks, and the odd percussive track really inspired that sexualised sound found on Lustmore. Plus a friend of mine’s mum was in this film.
Bladerunner – Vangelis
Of course Bladerunner has to be mentioned here. I studied the soundtrack years back when I was in college. It’s been a huge inspiration in general for me from that point onwards. I think everyone takes some sort of inspiration from Vangelis’ work.
Paris, Texas – Ry Cooder
Kind of an odd choice, maybe, but the way the imagery of this film works with Cooder’s slide guitar gives me chills every time. The slow pace of the film and the insular behaviour of the protagonist is beautifully justified with the soundtrack. It’s a really varied soundtrack from start to finish, but it works so well that it’s hard not to mention it here. I feel that I get a lot of creative ideas hearing something outside of my usual listening patterns, and this is a real gem of inspirational songwriting and emotive music.