To capture the otherworldly rhythmic dialogue that characters in Twin Peaks’ Black Lodge use, David Lynch had his actors learn their lines backwards.
They then acted out the scene backwards, using this backwards dialogue, before Lynch played the finished scene backwards so everything came out forwards. It’s an odd technique, but this want to experiment yielded some truly unique results. It's Lynch as a risk taker paying off hugely.
The same could be said for producer Stuart Howard aka Lapalux, whose third LP Ruinism is not content with following the rules. Born in an East London cemetery from his score for a performance piece held there, Ruinism is more about destruction than creation.
Whereas Lustmore, channeled James Blake’s neo-soul but with that unique Brainfeeder twist, Ruinism is a more akin to Amon Tobin’s discography, an odd sonic journey to find the beauty in the glitches. This is less sipping cool drinks in a dimly lit club and more stumbling through a warehouse rave long after the world around you has been annihilated.
Utilising only hardware and real instruments, Howard recorded sounds then played around with them until they were, as he says, “ruined”. Using these “ruined” samples, he attempted to construct something from that wreckage. It’s an almost Dadaist approach to making music and, at times, the end result is oddly enchanting.
Much of that enchantment comes courtesy of the vocalist-driven tracks. Jófríður Ákadóttir AKA JFDR’s two tracks, “Falling Down” and “Flickering”, are stunning and ethereal, with JFDR’s voice adding an almost Kate Bush quality to the hazy synths and stuttering beats. The Talvi-featuring “4EVA” is hypnotic in its beauty; warped riffs gliding over ice cold synths.
These tracks are in stark contrast to the malevolent opening tracks of the album, as though as things progress Howard is starting to uncover those gems amongst the rubble. “Data Demon” sounds like a lost Vangelis track from the Blade Runner soundtrack, all brooding and haunting. Lead single “Rotted Arp” meanwhile features Louisahhh performing a spoken word poem over a disjointed synth line seemingly on its last legs before evolving into a pulsating stomper.
Ruinism does, at times, often feel more like an experiment than a cohesive whole; a criticism sometimes levelled at Lynch. The similarities too to Amon Tobin’s intricate sound palette are often many, leading you to ask how original this is? And yet, there’s something about Ruinism that sucks you into its world. It’s beauty amid chaos and it’s easy to let your inhibitions go and just fall into it.