Yes Please and Remote Control Records dropped Guerre’s debut album Ex Nihilo on Friday, and we are already intoxicated with the experimental, tribal ambience that Sydney based solo producer Lavurn Lee has conceived in his garage – with a little production assistance from from Marcus Whale of Collarbones.
Originally from Canada, Guerre began his enigmatic career with inspiration from artists such as Nina Simone and Björk. In 2011 when he brought his Darker My Love EP into existence, reviewers preached the undeniable potential of this neo-soul, lo-fi RnB producer which was further hyped with the release of AA-sided single ‘Rashad (Loose Pace)’ / ‘For Qwanisha.’
The title of his latest record, Ex Nihilo is of Latin origin, meaning ‘creation out of nothing’, which is how Lee has defined his writing process. By building songs gradually over a prolonged period of time he felt as though they could also become disconnected from feeling. The result of this is a hypnotic record which affects the body in a physical yet not an emotional way.
From the ethereal soundscapes found in ‘Primae,’ to the spiritual tribal whisperings of ‘Ribs Aut,’ and the soulful jagged synths of ‘Makatse (Tunning),’ Guerre will venture with you through a hauntingly familiar world. The two singles ‘Deatheat’ and ‘Tuk’ are notable mentions for their erratic rhythms and eerie, melodic vocals. “In the fog we are all animals” Lee murmurs in ‘Croon,’ emphasising just how disorientated you have become, before fading out with the same melody as it all began, completing the circle and stirring you back to a hazy reality.
With layers of sonic textures, mysteriously incomprehensible vocals, and progressive ambience, Ex Nihilo is an experience not easily forgotten.
Ex Nihilo will be available now through iTunes, courtesy of Yes Please and Remote Control Records.
You can find Guerre on his album release tour at Civic Underground in Sydney – August 8, Boney in Melbourne – August 14; and Alhambra Lounge in Brisbane – August 15.