Landloper– noun [land-loh-per] : a wanderer or adventurer. ‘Landloper’ is Little People’s first release since 2015, where he returns with an album that is both beautiful and complex – much like the journey it took to release it.
In 2014, Laurent Clerc – AKA Little People – decided to move to Portland, OR to allow himself to concentrate on writing new music. Laurent spent a fruitful year in Oregon, drawing inspiration from the wild beauty of the Pacific North West. Shortly after his move, a new EP and a successful 6 week North American tour opening for Odesza followed. It’s around this time that the first sketches of Landloper started to take shape.
For Laurent making music is all about the process – each sound used on his latest album were created with a technical idea in mind. Either with a modular synthesizer or using digital means, Laurent draws inspiration from the set of tools at his disposal. Electronic music is a giant playground to explore and tinker with. The new album has a warmth and lofi aesthetic that is at odds with Laurent’s meticulous nature – but everything has been crafted to be deliberately just so. Constantly looking to add imperfections to beautiful sounds – rendering them more abrasive and alive. There are contrasts between the lush string quartet arrangements and off kilter angular beats, with subtle details in each track which co-exist alongside broader melodic themes. The music on Landloper travels through a number of sonic palettes, borrowing elements from different sub-genres to eventually form a cohesive whole.
Laurent worked with a number of collaborators this time round – expanding beyond just instrumental works. Whilst in Portland he worked with Reva Devito (HW&W Recordings) whose vocals were chopped and re-purposed – providing a vocal thread throughout the whole album. Laurent also collaborated with Rahel Debebe-Dessalegne (Hejira, Matthew Herbert, Floating Points) making up three key songs on the album. The lead single track ‘Skies Turn Blue’ which features Tif Lamson (GIVERS) was an effortless collaboration between 2 very different artists.
Laurent eventually returned to the UK with an early version of his album, with a number of labels expressing an interest in his new material. There were several rewrites, new mixes, and collaborations pushing Landloper into new territories. Despite positive talks, trying to please A&R departments proved too much of an artistic sacrifice. In the end Laurent set out to create a new record label to enable him to release music on his own terms. Future Archive Recordings was co-founded by Sun Glitters, arms and sleepers and CNJR – and includes signings such as Ninja Tune alumni Blockhead and Yppah. It is a collaboratively minded label, that looks to empower artists to release music as they see fit with the help, clout and structure of a label.