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This week’s WTFITF is a mystery even to us. We think Louislava is an LA based artist, but honestly, we just don’t know. What we can tell you is that (his?) sound pulls threads from Lo-Fi Hip Hop, Jazz, Chillwave, Electronica and DJ culture to weave strong, coherent compositions that breathe heavily with nostalgia but are centered by the gravitational pull with boom-bappy percussion.
A Little Backstory:
The LP, a collection of singles released by an artist simultaneously, was overcome by the EP, a shorter collection of singles. The EP was overcome by their constituent material, and the single came to rule the day of digital streaming. In the eye of the creative carnage storm, the single itself was about to ripped apart. Instead of the familiar +/-4 minute format of Verse1 – Chorus1 – Verse2 – Chorus2 – Bridge – Chorus3, a growing community of online artists birthed shorter format- usually 2 minute songs, with a much looser, vignette -style, vamp-like presentation. This form became prevalent in the lyricless land of Lo-Fi Jazz/Lo- Fi Hip Hop, perhaps because it allowed for expression of moods that floated in the nebula, free from the context that traditional forms seemed to demand. Early Lo Fi was so deconstructed, it was criticized for its simplicity, which gave way to endless teenage bedroom producers emulating the sounds with insanely easy to make Ableton beats thrown together, literally in minutes- sometimes in YouTube tutorials. The effect was similar to the general response to Rothko: “My kindergartner can do that”. And of course, “they” aren’t wrong, but they’re also far from right. In the wake of things, we are left to admit that there is Art, and there is art.
Now Back to Louislava:
This enigmatic, perhaps newcomer ( we really do not know) released After Hours last month. The album is pretty tasty, if we do say so ourselves, and because it uses the short single format you can listen to the whole thing in like, 20 minutes. Jesus, do you need that time-management detail to commit to listening to music in 2018? If you love what you hear, go ahead and grab a Roland SP 404 and try your hand at making some beats yourself. If you sound as good as Louislava, we recommend you start working on abstract paintings, too.