Oh, it’s like parkour! Suddenly, it clicks – organic ambient textures quickly juxtaposed with broken beats and forward propulsion of drum’n’bass. Leap from surface to surface with the just-released sounds of young, rising Sierra Nevada-born talent Guy LaBorde.
Guy actually comes to us from legendary producer King Britt, who’s now teaching at University of California San Diego, including his epic Blacktronika project – and Guy is studying with one of the best. I trust King’s recommendation, and Guy delivers here.
en mouvement is a production tour-de-force, a nonstop workout of various current beat genres and stuttering, scintillating plastic pad textures. It’ll hit hard, then suddenly pause on some heartfelt moment, then leap into action again. It has that fresh spontaneity of digital production now – that certain comfort – but there’s some easy soulfulness to a lot of it. That’s a lot of the same timelessness and freshness I always appreciated about King’s productions, too, so it’s great to hear this student connect with this teacher. And for all the talk of “Future Beats” or “Hyperpop” (sorry, genre names I sort of always loathed), the materials are deeply connected to past music, too – in a good way.
This sounds like someone with an always-on visual imagination, so it’s little surprise that Guy has released this with a full-length visualizer.
Guy himself comes from the far reaches of mountainous California, and somehow brings that Sierra Nevada mountain high to his urban world. He writes CDM to explain:
Over the last few years I’ve had the intention of shifting my music to have an environmental focus, as I believe that having an embodied relationship with your own environment is an important starting place for caring about the climate of the world! I find myself able to connect with spaces around me through exploring urban structures for the sport of Parkour, which I practice regularly! I have experienced many moments where it felt as though I were standing alone, placed in a precarious position among the concrete walls, that resembled the feeling I get among the presence of looming rocks and trees while mountaineering out of my hometown in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The senior project for the Interdisc. Computing and the Arts Major provided a great opportunity for me to complete a piece that could encapsulate these experiences of mine, and share them with others!
Throughout the creation of en mouvement, I experimented with many techniques in order to extrapolate the details of sounds, and generate textures, rhythms, and harmonic material. I used many tools such as field recording, synthesis, resonance, and distortion to color each track and to abstractly represent the feelings induced by phenomena such as: liminal spaces, forests, privatized common areas, mountains, and brutalist architecture. I took great influence from Drum & Bass, Hyperpop, Rave, and 2010s SoundCloud communities, all of which I resonate with personally, and have acted as soundtracks to my life.
Electronic music has always felt like an emulation of nature to me, where when I listen to it I am able to visualize imaginary shapes and ecosystems. With the video portion of the project I wanted to build something that came as close to that experience as I could get it to.
I used a combination of datamoshing, pixel sorting, and other glitch effects on iPhone videos that I collected mostly over the course of the last year. Then I chopped those elements and layered them together, paying attention to color, texture, and pacing, to synthesize the scenes found in the final piece!
I had a specific theme and set of key ideas for each track, and although it may be hard to quantify, I intended for each section to look how the music sounds.
Thanks, Guy! Here he is live, as I guess camcorders are cool vintage things now!
Guy LaBorde – Music [artist official site]