Last year, I’ve started my article series stemming from my obsession of researching new music. New Label Series is about pitching new and emerging record labels or platforms which seem promising and unique. Every piece features an interview with label founder(s) and sometimes also with releasing artist(s) and with my own observations as well as questions, I try to grasp the main interests and key qualities of each imprint. The first article from September 2015 is dedicated to Paris-based label Lpc. Friday —
With the growing popularity of contemporary (post)techno, there have been many collectives, platforms and labels forming around the globe who want to promote and share their own angle on this music, its aesthetics and its attitude. Amidst that overwhelming superabundance, one of the collectives that genuinely deserves your attention is a Paris-based Lpc, aka La petite compagnie. We already shared Aquatic Life, a beautiful oceanic video of theirs; now let’s check them out in detail.
Lpc is an independent label founded in 2012 by a small collective of friends who met in the south of France. They’ve dedicated the project to the memory of Antoine Debens, who they call “their faithful friend and former president of the association.” So far, Lpc consists of duos Keadz and Monochrome and two solo artists, XVII and Mas, who all name-check influences like labels Stroboscopic Artefacts, raster-noton, and 12k, and artists like Yves de Mey and Samuel Kerridge.
In the productions on Lpc, various elements of techno, dubstep/post-dubstep, and deep dub techno meet ambient and ethereal, organic atmospheres — a mix of inspiration from contemporary techno titans and nature. Those natural aesthetics are interwoven with field recordings in the sound, but also in the images they choose for promotion and music videos. The visual side of the label is run by Mas, who shares his inspiration in photo albums dominated by black-and-white shots of trees, forest, and sky.
Nature for Lpc means “purity, timelessness, and simplicity,” says member Tarek Iked, “and that joins the idea of beauty that we have. Nature is very inspiring for us. When we are in a countryside, listening to nature’s sounds, we don’t have the impression that someone is talking to us — in contrary to music made by humans. Nature’s sounds are random and unpredictable, they vary constantly, and that’s what makes them beautiful.”
In Paris, Lpc runs parties called Ceremony, each themed with headings like like “Abyss,” “Night,” and “Desert.” “We choose the themes so that the image and sound are completely inseparable,” says Ikeda. “By defining a theme, we have the feeling that the artists we’re inviting make a special performance for this occasion. We also noticed that artists like to be given a sort of restriction, because it awakens their creativity.” Records take themes like this, as well.
The previous compilation, Quiet Sum, aimed to “transform summer’s rest and quietness into music.” The compilation is the work of a group of friends, retreating together to the countryside to produce the music. Lpc’s next release deals with chosen artists’ perception of silence. It will include tracks by Elle from Hypnus, Fjäder from Full Panda Records, Lpc artists, and Paris’ Hydrangea, whose album Dawn Lights I also highly recommend.
Was 4’33” an inspiration? “Of course we know John Cage’s work, but it didn’t directly inspire us,” says Ikeda. “This album was an opportunity for the different artists to reveal their personalities through the meaning of silence. It was also a way to create something homogeneous and linked. For the moment, we have most of the tracks, and we can say that there are no blank records. But in case we would have received something like this, we would have probably keep it as it is.”
With the positive feedback for Monochrome’s fourth EP by artists like Cio d’Or, Cassegrain and Edit Select, the awareness of Lpc’s artists and activities slowly grows. But with such beautiful work, this is a label to watch.