A rathther beautifully peaceful Thing of the Day today, especially in this glorious spring sunshine of East London, the sun is heating the studio through the big glass window and you could (almost) for a moment forget about the coward Puttin and his mate Boris. The always wonderful Loraine James has a beautifully refined new single, ‘36°C’, released under her Whatever The Weather alias. A track taken from the forthcoming debut album ‘Whatever The Weather. ‘36°C’ is a deliciously warm reflection of something that we’re not sure of yet, a beautifully refined piece of music that end an album we’ve only had a couple of tastes of so fart, a deceptively simple, clever, crafted piece of art that does reflect so well (as we discoved with last year;s album under he own name). She does shape things so well, this is painterly, this is warm, this is as welcome as the Spring sunshine today. Beautiful
“Following her critically-acclaimed 2021 LP, Reflection, Loraine James announces the eponymous debut album under her ambient-minded alias, Whatever The Weather. A fascinating change of pace for the North London producer, the material finds her using keyboard improvisations, stuttering production, and vocal experimentation to shape atmosphere, mood, and tone. The music moves with an intrinsic fluidity, akin to sudden weather events passing over a single environment. Airy, transportive, and unpredictable, tracks freeze, thaw, and bloom in varying degrees, as reflected in the temperatures of their titles. The collection sees release this spring on Ghostly International.”
The album is out on April 8th, there’s a Whatever The Weather live launch show – Cafe Oto, London 7th April 2022 although we understand it is already sold out.
You can of course find the album on our much prefered music platform of choice Bandcamp.
“Loraine James has processed the last two years of turbulence through her art. The North London producer started a monthly show on NTS radio, shared several projects on Bandcamp, and recorded two Hyperdub releases, the Nothing EP and Reflection, the proper LP follow-up to her 2019 breakthrough, For You and I (which landed James, then a teaching assistant by day, the top spot on year-end lists by Quietus and DJ Mag). She also returned to a distinct creative terrain uncharted since her teenage years. In contrast to her club music sensibilities, this mode embraces keyboard improvisations and vocal experimentation, foregoing percussive structure in favor of shaping atmosphere and tone. From this divergent headspace emerged new coordinates and climates, a new outlet: Whatever The Weather. A longtime fan of ambient-adjacent Ghostly International artists such as Telefon Tel Aviv (who she’d ask to master the album), HTRK (whose singer Jonnine Standish features on Nothing), and Lusine (whom she remixed at the start of 2021), James saw the label as the ideal home for this eponymous album of airy, transportive tracks as they began to formulate.
The titling on Whatever The Weather works in degrees; simple parameters allowing James to focus on the nuances as a mood-builder. Her suspended universe fluctuates; freezing, thawing, swaying and blooming from track to track. James describes her jam-based approach for the sessions as “free-flowing, stopping when I felt like I was done,” allowing her subconscious to lead. The improvisations have an intrinsic fluidity to them, akin to sudden weather events passing over a single environment — the location feels fixed while the conditions vary.
The album opens at “25°C,” a sunshower of soft hums and keys. As the longest piece, it serves to establish stability, the inflection point where any move above or below this temperate breeze breaks the bliss. Given James’ proclivity for organized chaos in her production, this scene is fleeting, naturally. From that utopia, we plummet to the most melancholic read on the meter, “0°C,” its isolated synth line traversing a hailstorm of steely beats and static. Next, the dial jumps for the propulsive standout “17°C.” Like a timelapse of springtime in the city, the single accelerates across a frenzy of frames; car horns, screeching brakes, and crosswalk chatter fill the pauses between rapid jolts of multi-shaped percussion.
For portions of the work, James leans neo-classical, rendering pensive vignettes of cascading piano keys and warm delay. “2°C (Intermittent Rain)” ends the A-Side on a short and stormy loop; a resulting sense of reset permeates the B-Side’s opener, “10°C.” The producer mingles intuitively on echoed organ, locking into and abandoning atypical rhythms that suggest her jazz-oriented interests. “4°C” and “30°C” display the range of James’ vocal experiments. The former chops and pitches her voice to a rhythmic, otherworldly effect, the latter reveals James at her most straightforward (she cites Deftones’ Chino Moreno and American Football’s Mike Kinsella as inspirations), singing tenderly and unobstructed for nearly the duration before beats collide in the climax.
Whatever The Weather closes at “36°C,” while a sweltering heat by any standards the track eases along comfortably on a chorus of synth waves, acting as an apt bookend for this evocative, sky-tracing collection that started in a similar state. Cyclical, seasonal, and unpredictable, true to its namesake.”
For those of you who don’t know Loraine yet, here’s her brilliant 2021 album, this is what she does when she’s not working under her Whatever The Weather alias. THe album featured in our end of the year beast of round up – ORGAN THING: List time, our top albums of 2021, who made it? Gazelle Twin & NYX, Peter Hammill, Michael J Sheehy, Black Country New Road, Robert Calvert, Flying Luttenbachers, Deerhoof, Van Der Graaf, Alex Ward, Charlotte Greve, the Commoners Choir and… but hey, on reflection, it should have featured a lot higher, as we’ve got to know it more and more, it has revealed more and more, should have been up there in the top ten rather than just getting a mention