MP3 Lace - Superior By Design
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12 MP3 Songs
ELECTRONIC: Down Tempo, ELECTRONIC: Breakbeat/Breaks
>by some design: a preface
"Tell me what you think," Lace added casually, as he handed me a CDR of his latest full-length recording over a meal at a Vancouver crêperie.
Tonight, as I write, lots of listens later, I smile at the memory atop, for it is a little like Earth saying, "Right; that's a glacier, then...what does everyone think?"
So I embellish, dramatically. And yet, Lace's album is that astounding, that inspired, and that reflective.
On superior by design, I hear remnants of nights out, spanning twenty years. Likewise, soundscapes drift from nights yet to be spilled. If Blade Runner is here, and it is, nearly, then a well-matched pastime would involve dancing and chilling out to Lace. To think, that to which Simon LeBon aspired, circa 1982 (the year that film glazed movie screens), was "to be the group everyone dances to when the bomb drops"...
(Where was Lace in 1982?)
He has been playing and entertaining since that year. For the last decade, (this much is known) he has been in the public eye on the strength of a crateful of very fine records. Of them, Take me higher and the seductive GTA project have made the biggest impact. Very famous DJs have flown the ends of the planet with these and other tracks of his. Beyond the decks, Lace has also crafted many compositions for film.
Like a sonic Orson Welles, he once figured out how to spin records upside down, and then promptly posted a pro bono tutorial on his web site. In keeping with the spirit of this, he wears the letters 'VUTAG' on his cap, like a mantra. Always. The acronym spells Vancouver Underground Teachers, Artists and Guardians.
He counts Joy Division and The Stranglers amongst influences.
For all of that and because he likes to build robots for fun, I will say a word or two with regard to speculation, before I begin in earnest...
Yes, he is an odd sort. Yes, he is an inventive producer, DJ, musician, visualist, sound designer, programmer and live act. And it is true in ways you cannot imagine unless you know him: he is engaging, entertaining, smart and exceedingly direct. Yes, he appears to spend too much time in dark spaces, playing with wires and other bits of gear. He may drink too much coffee. However, he is much healthier and more social than his stigma might suggest.
More than anything, Lace has a penchant for delivering genuine pop sensibilities within the context of countless electronic subgenres. He alternates techno, breaks, ambient, house, trip hop, tribal and a little electro to a tune. How rare is that infectious bit that will forever tattoo itself onto the consciousness? It is elusive because it is a rare fancy of the very gifted few. Mozart invented it, The Beatles perfected it, Hank Sr. lamented it, Bob praised it, Elvis shook it, and Madonna screwed with it. Lace got up on the right side of the bed, and with a Gallic grin and West Coast hospitality, has given everyone platforms to give it a shake. That is my take.
With due regard to the above (and many others whom I omitted for lack of space), I also extend acknowledgement and thanks to pop music giants, Kraftwerk, the man/machines without whom...
You see the entertainer in the cheeky double entendre of the new CD's title. And - there is a story. Much of it, as Lace has recounted to me, seems cryptic. Any linear narrative, as such, is fleeting. What matters: a young woman drifts in a simmer. Her life is due to fade. Moments remain. Then, amidst the lustrous flurries of Tendency, her mind pours into Lace's music. Her hallucinations provide some of the subtleties of the fable herein. The remainder, it appears, is yours to envision.
With that, Lace sweeps a broad scope. I recall being excited about the album's emergence, having had a sneak preview via video round Madlove's (Lotusland's favourite maladjusted antihero and legendary event producer). The clips were stunning. I found myself taken by the design of it all.
There are obvious gems right from the start. Though perfectly of the very next moment, Beyond the horizon is a soup spiced with Salt-N-Pepa's Push it, Trio's Da Da Da and Prince's Sign of the Times, when it was all about weird brilliance. Underground Rescue Channel, a late addition to the mix, made me dig for Mantronix and New Order twelve inches. Then I got trapped - in the eighties. Presently, Spanish Banks had me long for quivering, sweaty sex - even before I was aware he had named the track for the most amorously moving of all of the city's many beaches.
And in the end, almost no one concludes like Lace. Akin to the fantastic storyteller, Italo Calvino, who spun his readers along to his whim and will, until having saved best for last, revealed truth and purpose to gasps; and as dénouement faded to finish, so Lace kept three of the finest for the close.
1-800 is my favourite. It is a silvery and modern chillscape, wherein Vancouver resonates. And while I prefer to enjoy the spacey thump of The Goose in tandem with its visual companion, in these chilling times it moves vividly all on its own. In lieu of the rest of the parable, the French one winds it down. Moi aussi is for dreamy mornings after and for better days ahead.
Imagine how this music connects with visuals in the context of a good night out. Or, for that matter, neatly by itself for a lovely time in.
By that, the shiny disk inside beckons you to enjoy all of its splendours. Who knows what Lace will have included in time for the deadline. Probably something to learn and sing. Likewise, something for traveling or a bounce about the room before going out.
And, you know it, some kind of game. Perfect for rainy afternoons.
Now, go and have fun.
Kresh | Vancouver, 22 February 2002
in partnership with CDbaby (ID 414671)
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