Ahead of the release of his third album Ruinism, I sat down with Essex-born and London-based producer Lapalux to discuss using hardware, French Dada paintings and writing a score for a graveyard performance.

Firstly I want to say congratulations on the new record, do you get nervous before a release date?

Not really, I used to a lot more. Nowadays I don't really think about it too much. I've had the record sitting there for a while now, we've had to wait and wait a while for the release to come about. It's done now I can't do anything more to it. I still listen to it back now, and I'm like 'ooh there's that little bit that I need to change', but that's the beauty of it I guess. Once you've done it, it's there and it's done. All the inaccuracies and all the little bits you think that are off make it what it is.

You've been working on it for a couple of years right?

Yeah, solidly for the last two years.

Much of the inspiration for Ruinism was born out of a theatrical score you wrote for the performance art piece Depart. Can you tell me about this project and how you became involved with it?

It's a company called L.I.F.T (London international festival of theatre). A friend of mine, who was working for them at the time, put my name into the mixing pot about doing musical scores for them and some performance art pieces they had. So I did one a while back in 2014 maybe. That was for a walkthrough experience, immersive theater and I did the soundtrack for that and then they re-commissioned me for the most recent one Depart.

It all came out of that really. In total it was about and hour and a half worth of music. It was set in a graveyard and you walk through and there were different performance stations where the spectators walk through huge graveyard there were various circus performances and different theatrical dancing and this sort of stuff. The performances represented the limbo between life and death. A lot of the ideas from that came into Ruinism.

Can you tell me about the name Ruinism and your approach for recording this album?

The name came to me one day as I was thinking about what to name the record, and what it meant to me. It's this idea of taking something live played into the computer via hardware and then manipulated and changed and broken down and rebuilt again. All of the record is hardware, all the drums, the live instrumentation, vocals, keyboards and various other little sound devices. I just wanted to make it purely hardware. For no real reason other than I wanted to step away from the computer.

The name Ruinism is basically a mish-mash of anything that's ism like classism, brutalism and anything like that mixed with the word ruined basically. It just clicked one day and it means several things to me, but that's the easiest thing that's tangible for the listeners.

Were you seeing how far you can push a sound?

There were a lot of raw sounds that I lay down, and I wasn't really happy with just the raw sounds. With a lot of analog gear sounds you get a really original sound, but I didn't want to have it as a showy-off record about how much gear I've got. It's more about what that sound meant in the context of the song. A lot of the sounds on the record are just edited and broken down so much you wouldn't realise where that sound necessarily came from.

I read that you do buy a lot of gear but also sell it off once you don't need it anymore.

Yeah until it becomes redundant, I have a weird thing with gear. I feel guilty if I own something that's worth a reasonable amount of money and it's just sat there gathering dust. So over the years, I've bought a lot of stuff, I used to have reel-to-reel players, really old synths and bits of pieces. I just sold them because I never used to use them that much.

Is there anything you regret selling?

I do actually regret selling my reel-to-reel player, it was really nice, it was a Revox but I can't remember the name of it. I bought it years ago and I was splicing up tape and mucking around with it. It was so good and it still retained such a high quality sound there was no use for it in my production. I like cheap especially when I'm using sort of cassette tapes I like the cheap shitty cassette decks and things that don't really cost a lot. I make tape loops and put it together that way.

Is the enjoyment more for you in the making of a track or in the finished track?

Oh definitely the enjoyment is everything leading up to finishing the track. It's always from the get go if something clicks and I enjoy it, I know I'm onto a good thing and then it's what the next thing I can add. Yeah especially with this album I found a lot of the time spent really just finding, I would jam over something for ages just editing it down to the points where those little moments where you just turn of the drum machine and it starts ticking I would record that little bit even though I 'd recorded an hours worth of drums and just using those sounds those special little moments. I found that a lot with using hardware because you can't really do that with software. I mean you can but there's never that like plugging something in or out and it makes a weird buzz sound. Especially as I used a Korg Polysix a lot on the new record. That thing, I literally have to take the whole thing apart every two weeks because something has gone wrong with it. Then the tuning goes off and that itself is a characteristic of the sound. It's quite a beautiful thing when you get some sort of old cranky weird thing going wrong with it and it adds to the whole thing.

How did you come to work with JFDR?

I actually got put onto her music through my manager, he also represents one of her bands. He introduced me to her and I heard her voice and I was like wow, I've got to get her involved in something. It was a really good process, she came to London and we linked up and she came round my flat and we recorded some vocals just on a rough idea I had. For another track we just did it over emails, she's got a really good work ethic, she's really fast and really productive in what she does. She's a great person and a great artist and I really got on well with her.

The track 'Reverence' was inspired by French Dada artist Frances Picabia's 1915 painting of the same name. What inspired you about this painting?

You know it's a weird one, I was in a gallery and they had a full exhibition of his works from his whole career, and he changed so much over the years. I've been to a lot of galleries over the last couple of years to get inspirations for the new record. I was taking a load of photos of the things I liked and wanted to look more into.

That painting for me stuck out, I'm not actually sure why. I think for its time and the process of how he did that and the materials he used were really interesting to me. I printed it out on my crappy printer at home and just had it above my desk and I was constantly looking at it and what it meant to me in sound. I took from left to right and tried to make sounds and textures that worked with the image. On the left side, there's a radiator looking thing and that would be a drifting pitch and then other textures would come in as the image got deeper. A lot of the texture in that song is inspired by the image. A lot of the stuff in the background all the orbiting sound of a doppler effect comes in and out.

Lapalux's third album, Ruinism, is out on Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder imprint June 30th 2017.