Grubby lo-fi duo LAPS create tunes so louche they loosen your morals while chafing your speakers...

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 20 Oct 2014
  • min read
Grubby lo-fi duo LAPS create tunes so louche they loosen your morals while chafing your speakers.

Aided and abetted by gritty analogue electronics, ridiculously spacious dub echoes and beefy basslines, the pair’s post-punk mayhem recalls every sonic experimentalist from Lee Perry to Peaches, while still managing to sound fresh.

So it comes as no surprise that the super-cool duo (Cassie and Alicia) are graduates of Glasgow’s den of audio iniquity, Green Door Studio, alongside groundbreakers Whilst, Hausfrau, Golden Teacher (Cassie’s other band) and Organs of Love (Alicia’s other band).

Their solid sound and laidback humour carry all the hallmarks of the progressive not-for-profit studio, which is favoured by everyone from local electronic legends Optimo to spiky indie outfit Casual Sex.

We caught up with Cassie and Alicia following the release of their wildly addictive new Ladies as Pimps EP on Clan Destine Records to find out what they’ve been listening to and who they’ve been hanging out with…

There’s a real buzz about your Ladies as Pimps EP, even though there’s no big press team or major label behind it. How does that feel?  
A+C: It's comforting to know that there are some weirdos out there besides us.

People say you sound a lot like ESG and The Slits – are you actually influenced by them or are they just tired reference points for old journalists?
A+C: ESG and The Slits are amazing - that's a given. However, we wouldn't say they necessarily directly influence what we make. It’s pretty flattering that people hear a speck of similarity, but we roll with our own punches.

How does a LAPS track start life? 
A: Generally from a miniscule idea, be it an isolated sound, word or rhythm which we then dive into and investigate.
C: Exactly, it’s an exploration of these sounds or words. For me I like room for being impetuous, as well as TLC; make mistakes and keep it moving.

Who does what? 
A+C: Joint parents; mothers together. The details are superfluous.
Alicia: Elton John’s Sacrifice haunts me at the moment - it’s following me around but not through choice...

You’re both in other bands – how does your approach differ when you’re making LAPS music? 
A+C: The music generated comes from the people involved. The approach differs purely because the structure is altered. Different relationships, different sounds, although we are our own prospective constants, so inevitably parts of our other projects seep through. Both labours of love with people we love though.

How did you get involved with Green Door Studio? Is that where you first met?
A: I graduated from Sculpture and Environmental Art in 2011 and joined the Green Door Analogue Music Production Course. Cassie was also on the course (as were my art school mates, Richard and Ollie – members of Golden Teacher). Turns out Cassie and I lived round the corner from one another, so we partnered up and became best M8s.
C: I had just left secondary school at the same time Alicia graduated and started the course at Green Door... a new school of sorts with a new way of approaching things. It was nice to finally meet my neighbourhood sweetheart.

A+C: Fucking amazing. An education like none other.

What are the merits of a community based recording facility like Green Door? 
A+C: The gravitas of what Green Door does and the relationships, projects and work that is established there is unreal. If there were some sort of diagram that charted the square metres of the studio, a cosy place to say the least, in relation to the ideas and sounds generated there - if it were quantified in solid mass - it would engulf Glasgow.

Loads of good stuff is coming out of the studio at the moment – why do you think that might be? 
A+C: The world's fucked up. People are communicating that or at least attempting to distract themselves from it.

What are you listening to at the moment? 
A: Divorce, always. I listen to their album Seance Fiction once a day at least. Also OM’s Advaitic Songs (again always) and Joane Skyler, who has just released a split record with Kinlaw on Reckno, which is fucking dynamite. Elton John’s Sacrifice haunts me at the moment - it’s following me around but not through choice.
C: Studio One Women always. Joe Meek and The Blue Men, again always. Right now I'm listening to Mammane Sani et Son Orgue on repeat as well as Poisonous Relationship (incidentally another Glasgow based artist). Also Ollie my GT [Golden Teacher] brother has recently introduced me to Angkanang Kunchai. Her voice is incredible.

What’s next for LAPS? Do you have any gigs coming up? 
A: The world is our oyster. We'll be coming out to play shortly.
C: The LAPS life is leisurely...