Here we have the long-awaited debut LP from The Internet’s Steve Lacy. Though Apollo XXI is Lacy’s first solo full-length, we doubt this precocious young chap was feeling the pressure too much - when you’ve made beats for Kendrick Lamar, given a TED Talk and walked the runway at Paris Fashion week before turning 20 you probably don’t even know what pressure is. Lacy’s carefree approach translates into this gorgeous neo-soul set. Dropping just as the weather heats up, Apollo XXI is a perfect summer jam collection.
Vinyl LP £15.99 LACY01LP
LP on 3qtr. Includes poster insert.
- Shipping cost: £3.35 ?
CD £11.99 LACY01CD
CD on 3qtr.
- Shipping cost: £1.05 ?
Steve Lacy recorded some music using his phone and was subsequently dubbed a ‘tech visionary’ by one Wired Magazine. While I’m usually suspicious of people who get called that, this is a slightly different situation because Lacy was just recording some music. He wasn’t (as far as I’m aware), misusing our data, helping steal elections, or undercutting local transport infrastructure the way tech visionaries are wont to do.
I don’t actually know if he used the same set up to record Apollo ‘XXI’, his solo debut, but you can certainly feel the bones of that process. The music here is surprisingly simple given how rich it can be, rarely is there much more than a guitar track, a bass track, a drum machine, and Lacy’s voice. But it works, and within minutes it’s easy to see why he’s ended up working with the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Solange.
The most obvious touch stone is Prince (and I won’t apologise for it). Lacy writes skeletal and weird funk and R&B. He’s ready and willing to use his entire range, all the way up to the forbidden falsetto zone. On the guitar he’s mostly strumming relatively simple rhythms, though like Prince, knows when the moment for a face-melting guitar solo (‘Love 2 Fast’).
The real hero here though is probably Lacy’s use of bass. It’s fun and insistent, and helps to buttress his songs. Which makes the bass-less ‘In Lust We Trust’ all the more startling. Lacy kicks our legs from under us, but we willingly get up again.
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