This week we go into 13:PM’s ‘Lay of the Land of the Lost’
13:PM journey in music has been a long and winding road. His love of music began when he was 12 with drum lessons and progressing to guitar and bass at 14. Inspired by Funk, Jazz and Ska, his musical tastes deepened. In college he became jaded with music. In 13:PM’s own words ‘depression and anxiety were at play here’ and he became more introspective. In 2012/13 he got into beatboxing and joined a Hip Hop club at Central Washington University. From there he dabbled with GarageBand and set off on his journey in beats. Since then he has moved back to the Boston area, got married and founded a production company. With his last commission being binaural instrumentals for a mindfulness/meditation app. ‘Lay of the land of the Lost’ is his most recent effort but how does it fit into the tapestry of 13:PM’s musical journey?
‘Lay of the Land of the Lost’ is a mind bending trip through a surreal land. 13:PM sets up a trek through the cerebral and pushes the limits of perception and reality. Even the track names invoke fantastical images and themes. Tracks like ‘O-Type Chrondite’ and ‘Devoid Bazar’ conjure up scenes almost instantly. The beauty in this is how every listener’s take away will be different whilst retaining the overall feeling that things aren’t quite as they seem. We spoke to 13:PM about the concept for this album and he had this to say: ‘This albums theme is based around a large scale universe concept. Like a graphic novel or animated series concept based a desolate shell of a once populated planet and it’s invasive inhabitants. ‘Lay of the Land of the Lost’ is about taking one's toxic traits at face value, dealing with them and finding ways to fill in the gaps when you stop feeding those demons.’
The cerebral nature of this project is also bolstered by the sound design at play. Sonically, ‘Lay of the Land of the Lost’ is as thick as a forest. The textures, tones, percussion and extra details all coalesce to create a Wonderland in beats. Every element is bent and stretched to extract a multitude of responses. But rather than just an experience for hardened producers, the album’s sonics are emotional as well as technical. 13:PM uses a vast array of techniques to illicit a reaction but never alienates the listener. This is a master feat of production. Helping with this effort was Dephrase, who 13:PM described as ‘a true wizard when it comes to production and engineering’. The sonic landscape on ‘Lay of the Land of the Lost’ is as important as the themes at play. If the concept is terra firma then the sound engineering is the trees, rocks and rivers. Adding lush detail to an already deeply inviting space.
Despite the trippy leaning of ‘Lay of the Land of the Lost’, there's no slack in the foundations of rhythm and sampling. The drums hit hard across the album and are perfect base to build upon. The chops are superb. Creative and accented beautifully with various synths and moog effects. ‘Fungal Forest’ is a particular stand out track in this regard. Blending a choppy, almost drunken, drum line with a wavy pad lead and strong bassline. This track really kicks and is indicative of the solid foundation 13:PM has built the album on. In fact 13:PM’s entire style pays its dues to this strong foundation. Speaking on his style, the producer said this: ‘Boom-Bap and Funk have a baby. Then Jazz and Rock have a baby. Then those two babies grow up, meet, then fuck. My music is that baby. I love swinging drums, jazzy piano, funky bass lines, hard hitting drums with soulful softness in the melodic content.’
‘Lay of the Land of the Lost’ is an astounding project. Overall the album is a trip - in both senses of the word. 13:PM has adopted a concept that is more akin to world building than simple narrative. There are wonderful stories here but they are told through the kaleidoscopic lens of the universe 13:PM has crafted. A large part of this world is fleshed out by the lush sonic landscape. Utilising advanced techniques in a wide variety of ways, ‘Lay of the Land of the Lost’ manages to be both technically brilliant and emotionally resonant. The diversity on the album wouldn’t be possible however, without 13:PM’s solid production steez. The album is built on strong foundational principles and 13:PM shines brightly with this base in place. ‘Lay of the Land of the Lost’ is an esoteric adventure that is begging to taken. 13:PM has crafted a unique, full world and created art that has a character all of its own. Do yourself a favour and jump on the spaceship that is ‘Lay of the Land of the Lost’
Listen to ‘Lay of the Land of the Lost’ here:
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