Loraine James Reinterprets American Composer Julius Eastman on New Album
'Building Something Beautiful For Me' LP is celebrated for October 6 release.
Loraine James will release a new album in October.
Building Something Beautiful For Me pays homage to American composer Julius Eastman, who quietly passed away in May 1990, out of the spotlight and still a young man. Only a portion of his music remains but, across eight new tracks, James has reinterpreted, reimagined, and responded to his key works for the Phantom Limb label.
Phantom Limb are long-term fans of both Eastman and Loraine James. Speaking in similar tongues as young, gay, Black creatives in a challenging environment, the two musicians are “bound closely together,” the Brighton label says, despite a six-year gap between their lives ever intersecting. Using their connection with Eastman’s surviving brother, Gerry, the UK label began this project last summer.
James was offered a zip drive of Eastman originals, courtesy of Gerry Eastman, plus Renee Levine-Packer and Mary Jane Leach’s illuminating 2015 biography, Gay Guerilla, and transcribed MIDI stems courtesy of Phantom Limb founder James Vella.
We’re told that the resulting album “carries the Eastman torch with finesse and sensitivity,” and that James employs samples, melodic motifs, and inspiration from Eastman’s canon. James includes the original Eastman title in many of her tracks, appending the source material in parentheses to mark the lineage of the work.
James is a London-based producer who has released a string of albums and EPs since 2015. She released her third album, Reflection, on Kode9’s Hyperdub. More recently, she adopted the moniker Whatever The Weather and released a self-titled ambient album for Ghostly. You can read more about her in her XLR8R podcast here.
James will be playing selected tracks from the album for a special live performance, collaborating with the London Contemporary Orchestra at Queen Elizabeth Hall in the Southbank Centre, London on October 2. Tickets are available here.
01. Maybe If I (Stay On It)
02. The Perception of Me (Crazy Nigger)
03. Choose To Be Gay (Femenine)
04. Building Something Beautiful For Me
05. Enfield, Always
06. My Take
07. Black Excellence (Stay On It)
08. What Now (Prelude To The Holy Presence Of Joan D’Arc)
Building Something Beautiful For Me LP is celebrated for October 6 release. Meanwhile, you can stream “Maybe If I (Stay On It)” in full below and pre-order the release here.