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Don’t get too comfortable is perhaps the quintessential spirit to Loraine James’ work, as her tracks constantly jolt, jerk, jump, and move one way or another into a place between and one that seems impossible. My music is a bit rough,” she says. “A lot of it sounds a bit scrappy, but I don’t re-record it, because I like how it sounds.” Disjointed—and intentional, James mimics the controlled chaos of free jazz, embracing the dissonance and odd time signatures of off-beats and glitching synths. Unafraid to pull from different places of inspiration, this high-risk, high-experimentalism approach, increasingly her own, has been the reason for back-to-back critically acclaimed albums.
For You And I, released in 2019, was voted DJ Mag and Quietus’ album of the year, whilst Reflection arrived in 2021 and received with much of the same accolades. The project looks inward in a turbulent expression of inner space, laid out in unflinching honesty. It offers gentle empathy and bittersweet hope - pared down and confident - leaning further into pop music her own way and taking the listener through how a tumultuous year felt for a young, Black queer woman and her acolytes in a world that had suddenly stopped moving.
Loraine James will perform a live set with her usual trusted setup: Ableton Live, a MIDI keyboard, Novation Launchpad and Launch Control, APC40 MKII, and a MacBook —- heavy glitch, bouncing kick drums, strange percussive elements, and quiet vocal lines that create alien sounds and rhythms. As for the rest, it’s anyone’s guess.
London producer and sound experimentalist, Loraine James; also known as Whatever the Weather as her ambient-focused alias.
Hyperdub, Fu Inle Records, New York Haunted
Reflection (Hyperdub, 2021)
Loraine's mom, an educator and lover of eclectic music, was a great source of inspiration, as Loraine also studied to be an educator and does produce eclectic music.