Stuart Howard’s third album, as the name implies, deals with decay. An exploration of the space between life and death, much of the album grew out of a theatrical score he composed for a performance art piece staged in an East London cemetery last summer. Some, of course, will say that that sounds depressing. Well, they’re wrong. Confronting death, this is the most gorgeous instalment in Howard’s gorgeous back catalogue. In order to create ‘Ruinism’’s sound, the Essex man behind Lapalux stuck to hardware and real instruments rather than relying solely on software. Sampling and re-sampling his recordings, shifting their pitch and contorting them, he’s fashioned a collection that is at turns brutal and reassuring, discordant and harmonious.
‘Data Demon’, perhaps the most beautiful and most complex Lapalux creation to date, sums up the conflicting aesthetic, morphing from glass-shattering choral textures, complete with strings and a melancholy bassoon (yep) line, to a Venetian Snares-esque industrial onslaught without ever sounding like it doesn’t make sense. There are loads of grooves and choruses too, but you probably knew that already.