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Live Review: Lapalux

23 May 2013 | 4:15 pm | Sean McKenna

The set was rounded off with probably the night’s biggest drop before Howard made a speedy exit from the stage.

“Haunted by thoughts that suck you in and pull you under” is the opener to Nostalchic poster track Without You and sets a chilling tone to much of the corresponding release. That said, the album possesses its fair share of groove worthy tunes with one thing remaining consistent throughout; a deeply textured polish that sees the 25-year-old Essex born, Stuart Howard find a level of accessibility somewhere between his influential Brit compatriot, Burial and contemporary electronic pop icon, Flume. It's this accessibility combined with an obvious passion for intricately layering sounds in – recently – a more hip hop oriented context that has seen Howard, aka Lapalux, demand so much hype. The IDM repudiating beat maker inaugurated his Australian tour last weekend in Perth to a sold-out Bakery and was received with fervent adoration in the shape of a shifting, Nostalchic mass.

With an extended support list courtesy of the I.C.S.S.C promo crew, the night had shaped up as not only a Lapalux exposé but a showcase of Perth's thriving EDM scene. Home-grown mixing talents, Modo and Ben T were responsible for getting things underway with a memorable live set from Cranioid soon to follow. Last time Lapalux was in town, Oni Ca$h was charged with providing support so it seemed only fitting that the experienced hip hop mixer was back on the bill with a stellar, bass heavy set. Offering some fem cred to the line-up was Mei Saraswati who has been turning heads of late, with her soulful vocals layered immaculately against some seriously tight production; a west coast reply to Sydney's Rainbow Chan.

Fortifying Oni Ca$h's hip hop beats was Sleepyhead, with a set that brought an abundance of booty shakin' to what was by now a gathering dancefloor. Huffle stepped up shortly after and ensured things only got busier before two of Perth's underground pin-up boys took over. – At first it seemed odd that Lapalux was coming to town without any major international support from the likes of the Brainfeeder squad, but a collaborative performance from James Ireland and Leon Osborn relinquished all initial doubts. Both producers took time to showcase their individual work as well as combining to create some sample heavy, intensely layered production. The solid performance made it hard to separate the two artists, and begs the question as to why Osborn is yet to join Ireland on the This Thing collective.         

With so many support acts it was a wonder that Lapalux even made it to the stage before 1am, but sure enough the main man found his way on to the Bakery's red rug right on time. His onstage minimalist approach set a theme for the entirety of the set, playing only a handful of Nostalchic tracks while opting instead to dedicate more time to freestyling and engineering a predominantly live set, chocked full of synthetic hooks juxtaposed sensually against some incredibly layered beats. Guuurl was a clear crowd favourite along with a chopped up and spat out take on Without You that got the entirety of the horde bopping in sequence. The set was rounded off with probably the night's biggest drop before Howard made a speedy exit from the stage.

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