G-Lafe: Electronic Sounds From Colorado’s Underground
Greg Lafer, who produces music under the alias of G-Lafe, isn’t one for bios. Still, as one of the most well regarded and fastest rising elements of the diversely talented Boulder-area underground electronic music movement, we might as well get you familiar with this artist’s essentials before he becomes more nationally known. Lafer has a well established and well deserved SoundCloud presence; he has been diligently cranking out hugely impressive original pieces of music for a over a year. G-Lafe’s particular blend of bass music is impossible to force into a single genre; he draws on everything from dubstep, house, electro, hip hop, and trance to create music that is captivating and unique – this is no easy feat as no two songs of his are exactly alike. Not only is G-Lafe one of the first finds to convince me it was worth it to sign up for a SoundCloud account, he is also one of the founders of Labyrinthian Records, an independent electronic label, alongside a previous share of ours, Admodum.
What is perhaps most impressive about the G-Lafe catalog of tunes is that they have always been offered up entirely for free. The latest track from G-Lafe is titled “Woop.” As you get further into this song the reason for such a title becomes blatantly obvious. However, one has to make the case that the rest of the track around Lafer’s wooping lead deserves the most attention. The intro captures your attention with dreamy keys and rumbling sub tones but does not prepare you for the dark sounds that are to follow. Though typically leaning toward chilled and warm creations, G-Lafe sometimes makes music that is rife with attitude. Mean wobbling bass lines make for a threatening atmosphere, but a string-heavy break and outro leave room for a little optimism. The artwork on this track is also seriously impressive. Grab a download for the full effect.
Another recent work from G-Lafe is “Arrival.” Though his style is variable, this is more of what I think of as the typical G-Lafe sound. Entirely chill, but with an aggressive dubstep edge, “Arrival” is definitely one of the most favorite songs to ever come along from this artist. The intro centers around the melody that will be the backbone to this laid back hip hop-styled piece of bass music but also hits on some excellent dos sounding glitches that later get a brief feature as the center of attention. A deep beat and smooth bass sounds give “Arrival” flavor; toward the center of the track, keys and wobbles make for some dubby reggae sounds, following the break, a broken and then altered beat make this tune into an entirely different animal. While relaxed throughout, this song is full of enough variation and changes in style to have jumped genres at least three times. A study in sound design and musical theory, listen to and grab a copy of “Arrival” below.
Starting in February of this year G-Lafe began compiling the music he always released for free into albums… which are also free. In April he put out Word which is composed of 10 tracks, most of which are older favorites that have withstood their brief test of time. A more recent tune that was included on Word which is also one of the strongest tracks on the album is “G-Lafe.” Should this song be autobiographical, one would have to figure that Greg is a bit schizophrenic as this track manages to simultaneously have a laid back and party vibe as well as a dark but cheerful demeanor. “G-Lafe” is probably home to my favorite bit of this artist’s bass and synth work; though seemingly simplistic, his progressions and musicianship are impeccable. As this song becomes more and more of fist pumper, a crisp clap takes center stage. Listen and become addicted.
Tripping Forward is G-Lafe’s first album release. These 12 tracks first appeared in February and cover a variety of genres from dubstep, house, hip hop, and everything electronic in between. While this album includes some of Lafe’s finest work, we’ve decided to share two tracks, “Ambient House,” and “Waking Up,” which are a couple of Foward‘s strongest standouts. “Waking Up” is guaranteed to clear some head space for a clouded mind. The remarkable aspects to this song are threefold, the percussion is fantastic, particularly the tribal drums; the synths and especially the melody are impossible to forget; and ultimately, this is unlike any other deep house track that I’ve come across in a long time. “Ambient House” actually follows “Waking Up” on Tripping Forward. It continues the 120 bpm theme, but this time to something of a different effect. While spacious enough to qualify as ambient and carrying the tempo to fit as a house song, “Ambient House” just feels like something entirely new. Between the fuzzy, yet sparkling keys and the slow and thoughtful bass synth, the perfectly on point house beat is almost ignored to the ear. Progressively building intensity and emotion, this song could easily carry on for twice as long as it does. Dare you not to have this one on repeat, especially if you have some thinking to do. Grab a .wav of both of these songs from their players and crank ‘em up.