I haven’t seen Felix in a while, and it’s been far too long. For many followers of the scene, South African ambient and chill starts and stops here, with Mr.Felix Laband. As an artist his records smack of perfectionism and are all lovingly crafted with a love of glitch and a respect for all things acoustic, from flutes to vibraphones.
I recently picked up a copy of 4/4 down the stairs after my first copy went missing a few years back, and what a welcome reunion it was. Like visiting an old friend who you’ve spent so many days and nights with. Who you know as well as they know you. The record moves from the barren “Jesus at the table” through to the undeniably funky “Donkey Rattle” with its delicious bad ass bassline all the way to the almost mischievous “Wilddogs.” As an album, there’s a depth to it that’s not often found in producers of Laband’s young age (he’s still in his twenties). Seemingly random samples suddenly make sense after the third of fourth listen of a track and suddenly a whole new layer is added to the soundscape.
Out of habit I’ve been trying to classify this album from the word go, but I’m having quite a bit of trouble doing so. Where will it sit in the CD rack? Somewhere left of Charles Webster and The Cinematic Orchestra is my guess, but not too far from Kid Loco or Kruder and Dorfmeister. While Laband displays some of the hallmarks of these genre defining artists, he falls into a genre all of his own. Lovingly constructed audio panoramas filled with hints of modern technology, snippets of the SA police force and drips and draps of well, Felix.
If you can find it, be sure to get your hands on a copy.