Lawrence Hart launches his new label SSEM Records with his second solo EP, celebrating his incredible connection to the birth of modern computing and electronic music, through his Grandfather, Geoff Tootill.
The EP, like the new imprint, is named ‘Small-Scale Experimental Machine’ after the world’s first software-using computer, built in 1948 by Geoff Tootill, F.C. Williams and Tom Kilburn. Geoff gave Hart his first ever musical instrument, his 1940s trumpet, setting him on a path combining organic, emotive instrumentation and technically progressive electronic production.
EP focus track ‘Above All Else’ has the wistful yet high energy sound of pitch-shifted vocals, intensified by a heartfelt lyrical voiceover to lift hearts, hands and roofs alike. ‘The song is a sincere take on what love really is, ‘the absence of separation’ between two people’ Lawrence says. ‘There’s an innocence to love and I tried to capture that with the production. It’s rare that I start my songs on the ‘Major I chord’, but here I felt that it encapsulated the sentiment perfectly. For me the song is summed up by a Rumi quote – ‘Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.’
EP opener ‘LDN VBZ’ with Ryan Winters brings the raucous energy of London nightlife & the club culture they both grew up with, with support including Danny Howard and Jack Saunders. ‘Reach Out’ is a more contemplative piece, with ethereal synth chord progressions over a distorted vocal background. ‘Within These Walls’, the first single from the EP, with a wild, deep drum loop, underpinned by expressive breaks and jittering vocal one-shots, opens with a sample of the first computer generated music, a program written by Geoff Tootill and Alan Turing.
Lawrence Hart has collaborated with some of the most exciting names in electronic music, including Model Man, Alan Fitzpatrick, George Fitzgerald, Lau.ra, Foals (remixing lead single ‘Wake Me Up’ from their imminent album). The South London producer’s debut EP ‘Surrender Yourself’ amassed sweeping support across BBC Radio 1 (Annie Mac, Pete Tong – inc. ‘Essential New Tune’, Jack Saunders, Jaguar).
Lawrence Hart ‘Small-Scale Experimental Machine’ EP is out now on SSEM Records.
Listen to the tracks below.