Lapalux Nostalchic

It's no small feat to have Flying Lotus respond to a one-off email and subsequently end up as the only British artist on Los Angeles-based label Brainfeeder, but such is the fate of Lapalux. The 25-year-old Essex native's debut album, Nostalchic, finds its strength within its layered approach, melding elements of R&B, hip-hop, house and soul. It's the textures Lapalux create that move and sustain the album — the stuttered, twitchy beats of "Flower" or the heavy distortion and controlled chaos atop the errant synths on "Kelly Brook." It's easy to see why Brainfeeder was eager to take him on. The layered, tousled flourishes on "Swallowing Smoke" are simply ethereal, while "Straight Over My Head" softly builds up a plush beat immersed in rich static that finally drops into a warped, gritty soundscape. Lapalux has found his home at Brainfeeder, with Nostalchic and its masterful genre crossings a fitting first release. (Brainfeeder)