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2015 reissue of South African producer Felix Laband’s 2005 album Dark Days Exit, released in advance of Laband’s album Deaf Safari (COMP 470CD/LP).
Felix Laband is Pietermaritzburg-born, Durban-bred, and Cape Town-based. He thankfully took up computer music instead of surfing, and was in various guitar-based bands (including Fingerhead and Incurable) before having a solo piece included on the Koert Kotze en die Vrouekolonie CD in 1999. Laband’s fiendish and phat foray into introspective electronics was highly promising and the highlight of a critically acclaimed project. He also had two notable inclusions on the excellent Sounds of the Durban Underground collection, and has released two albums on African Dope Records. He is celebrated like a star in South Africa. Dark Days Exit is deep; it comes from the deepest heart and reflects a fantastical sound-journey through strange land. As Laband told UK magazine Dazed & Confused, “South Africa is a land of weird contrasts which definitely comes through in my music. I’m not afraid to throw things around. A lot of European stuff is quite formulistic, people stick to a certain sound and a specific way of doing things. I try to throw that out of the window.” Dark Days Exit, with its subtly puzzled-out electronica and sublime moody electro sounds, blends the artificial intelligence and sensitivity of electronica, indie pop, folk, post rock, and old school ambient with some warm jazz elements, while occasionally recalling French movie soundtracks. On the one hand, it approaches the works of Stereolab, The Notwist, Console, Plaid, and such; on the other hand, it truly recalls the old school Compost community as well. Many people compare the album to A Forest Mighty Black, Taran, or the classic Kruder & Dorfmeister releases (the duo loved the album from the very first note and gave it rave reviews). Indeed, it’s got a little bit of everything, but self-contained enough to be one of the most outstanding albums of 2005.
African, Downtempo, Dub/Reggae, Electro, Electronic, Ghettotech, Glitch, Hip Hop, House, Jazz, Leftfield, South African