Lee Bannon (US)

The prodigious Sacramento-raised, Brooklyn-based Lee Bannon first commanded attention as an imaginative hip-hop producer for rising rap-world phenoms such as Joey Bada$$, Ab-Soul and Souls of Mischief. He put his stamp on an array of ingenious cloud-rap, rapturous trap and booming bass cuts – on top of dropping offbeat instrumental records and EPs such as Fantastic Plastic and Caligula Theme Music. But 2013 found the experimental beatmaker seeking out darker, more sinister pastures, distancing himself from the hip hop department to add more hues to his colour wheel – complementary shades of jungle, drum ‘n’ bass and breakbeat. Inspired by last year’s jungle resurgence (Machinedrum, Congo Natty), nostalgia for the d’n’b dominance of his Sacramento upbringing and a fondness for turn-of-the-century instrumental innovators like Aphex Twin, Bannon’s high-BPM debut LP for Ninja Tune, Alternate/Endings, is chockfull of detailed nods to the past while remaining aggressively contemporary. Buoyed up by his passion for intricate field recordings and film references (pay heed to snippets of Paul Thomas Anderson and Darren Aronofsky), Alternate/Endings’ relentless rhythms, glitch-y madness and Burial-esque insistence on atmosphere squash all skepticism about this being anything other than Bannon’s ‘true’ debut LP and sound.

NOCTURNE 4
MUTEK 2014, montreal

Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal 01/06/2014

The prodigious Sacramento-raised, Brooklyn-based Lee Bannon first commanded attention as an imaginative hip-hop producer for rising rap-world phenoms such as Joey Bada$$, Ab-Soul and Souls of Mischief. He put his stamp on an array of ingenious cloud-rap, rapturous trap and booming bass cuts – on top of dropping offbeat instrumental records and EPs such as Fantastic Plastic and Caligula Theme Music. But 2013 found the experimental beatmaker seeking out darker, more sinister pastures, distancing himself from the hip hop department to add more hues to his colour wheel – complementary shades of jungle, drum ‘n’ bass and breakbeat. Inspired by last year’s jungle resurgence (Machinedrum, Congo Natty), nostalgia for the d’n’b dominance of his Sacramento upbringing and a fondness for turn-of-the-century instrumental innovators like Aphex Twin, Bannon’s high-BPM debut LP for Ninja Tune, Alternate/Endings, is chockfull of detailed nods to the past while remaining aggressively contemporary. Buoyed up by his passion for intricate field recordings and film references (pay heed to snippets of Paul Thomas Anderson and Darren Aronofsky), Alternate/Endings’ relentless rhythms, glitch-y madness and Burial-esque insistence on atmosphere squash all skepticism about this being anything other than Bannon’s ‘true’ debut LP and sound.

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