Felix Laband was the first South African electronica artist to gain recognition locally and abroad. Following two engrossing efforts for African Dope Records, his third album got an international release on great German label Compost Records, attracted kind words from the likes of Kruder & Dorfmeister, Mr. Scruff and Laurent Garnier, and was remixed by Todd Terje.
Born in the quiet town of Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal, Laband now spends his time between Cape Town and Joburg and dabbles in multiple fields, including creepy collage art (he’s designed all his own CD covers) and intricately-crafted music that veers from digital and indie to kwaito and modern classical. He’s described his music as “classical punk”, reflecting his love for both abrasive alternative beats and the smooth minimalism of modern composers like Philip Glass and Terry Riley.
Following the release of his calm and beatific debut ‘Thin Shoes In June’ in 2001, he became a major influence on up-and-coming electronic kids like Markus Wormstorm (aka Sweat.X) and Sibot (aka Playdoe), and in 2002 he followed that album up with the more sinister and upbeat ‘4/4 Down The Stairs’, cementing his standing as South Africa’s most influential and interesting digital producer.
While his last album “Dark Days Exit” (released by Open Record in SA and by Compost internationally) arrived five long years ago, he’s sitting on a stockpile of excellent, eclectic recordings, and he tells me he’s working on a new album that will blend his trademark computer-generated rhythms with the dark pop attitude of acts like The Cure. Personally I can’t wait.
With Felix’s kind permission we’re letting you have two tunes from his second album. The first is probably his best known and most dancefloor-friendly track, “Donkey Rattle”, which has been licensed for use in adverts as far off as the far East; and the gentler (but still hella woozy) “Wilddog”. As a bonus you can enjoy embeds from his most recent long-player, including Todd Terje’s super, dubbed-out house reworking of “Whistling In Tongues”…
Felix Laband – “Donkey Rattle” [MediaFire]
Felix Laband – “Wilddog” [SoundCloud]
“Whistling In Tongues” (Todd Terje Remix):