Exclusive: Stream Laxcity's debut album Catharsis with a track-by-track walkthrough
Released through Majestic Casual, Catharsis is an immersive and engrossing listen.
There's a lot of powerful, electronic-centred music being released internationally at the moment, with the rise of acts including Bonobo and Lido perhaps inspiring a wave of intricate and craftful productions with incredibly fine attention to detail – soft melodies and subtle percussion perfectly mixing for absorbing and at times, complex listen. Zambia-born, UK-based musician Laxcity is an artist summarising this perfectly on his debut album Catharsis, in which over its eight-track duration, sees the musician create immersively cinematic electronica, combining soft ambience and orchestral melodies with a light, electronic backbone for a release that really becomes quite a multi-faceted listen.
Moving between sub-genres and sounds, many of them incomparable to others, Catharsis pulls the emotion out of mostly instrumental productions, while songs involving his vocal, like the album-closing Healing, feel even more empathetic, stretching the limits of vulnerability and passion in electronic music. As mentioned, it's quite a complex listen, to stream it below – a few days ahead of its release via Majestic Casual this Friday – with a track-by-track album walkthrough from Laxcity himself.
Introvert is my favourite track on the whole album. I started the track when I was 18-years-old with just the piano chords you hear at the beginning of the song, but I abandoned the project because I never really saw it going anywhere. It wasn't until two years later, when I decided to look through old projects, that I dug it up. I had the biggest surge of creative intuition as I started adding onto it. I tried to gather as many orchestral samples/VSTs as I had in my library and every piece I kept adding just made it escalate into this beautiful orchestral piece.
I have a very personal relationship with this song because it's literally me exposing who I am as a person and what my desires were at the time.
Ambitions is one of the first tracks I’ve ever released with my own vocals in it. I have never been keen on showing anyone my singing voice – I am very self-conscious about it. However, I think it’s great to showcase how far my musical abilities have come, and overall I really love how this song turned out. I hadn't really thought about what the song meant to me while making it, but it seems to tell this cliché yet important message about following your dreams.
Heartbeat had several revisions and a couple of different vocalists during the creative process. The instrumental for the song was an easy track to make yet it was hard to find decent vocals to match. Once Nakala hopped on the track, I fell in love with it, although I had trouble mixing her vocals, so I had some assistance from Nakala’s producer (shoutout to him <3 ). I am so happy to have her on this track – I’ve looked up to her since my early days of music production, so it’s such an honour to have her feature on my first album!
Sherry W is one vocalist I really hope to work with more often in the future. She has the most soothing voice that goes soo well with most of my productions. Catch Me was another battle I had to fight in terms of struggling with its song structure.
Fun fact: the outro here was the first time I’d ever thought of incorporating orchestral elements in my productions, and it was this same technique that motivated me to finish Introvert.
Changing is one of the most complex tracks on the album. Funny enough, though, it only took two days to make. I think in those two days, my creative drive was at its peak. Every time I opened the project file, I had several more ideas to add. I had also caught Lani Rose at such a good time, and his falsetto vocals in the chorus give the track a fantastic spacey vibe. With Lani’s vocals and my production skills, this track was a natural fit and a lot of fun to make.
Under a Lampshade
Under a Lampshade is the one song that I struggled with the most. I started the song in January 2017. Being the perfectionist I am with music, I wasn't really pleased with the mix (e.g., Emawk and Ezra’s vocals were a challenge to process), so I kind of gave up on it. To finish the track, I would need to sit down and do some intricate mixing – which I put off for a long time. After some encouragement from my manager, I eventually dedicated a few days towards finishing it. It wasn't a fun process, but I still love how it turned out. I'm so proud of the intro in particular – it’s a mix of emotions I can't even describe yet they feel so powerful and resonant to me.
If Introvert is my favourite one of the bunch, Catharsis is the track I’m most proud of. When I was creating it, I wanted to create a form of song structure that simulates a person going through different states and emotions to arrive at a certain point of clarity in their state of mind – catharsis, if you will. I used the exact same techniques as I did for “Introvert,” creating each part of the song in separate project files before using them as building blocks to make the track into a five-minute-long orchestral piece.
I didn't really know how to end the album at first, but I settled on Healing as it’s the most mellow and heartwarming track of the bunch and another one that also includes my own vocals. When I wrote the song, I wanted to capture the feeling of having every problem/conflict in your life solved – and of knowing, in light of these solutions, what to do next.
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