Wednesday, October 09
Roseland Theater   All Ages
Portland, OR
Show: 8pm    Doors: 7pm

Exploring downtempo trip hop, punkish rap beats, and menacing sound design; Ivy Lab present their new album ‘Infinite Falling Ground Pt.2’. The North London based duo of Sabre (Gove Kidao) and Stray (J. Fogel) have concocted 14 tracks concentrated around melancholy, hip-hop inspired, ambient electronica, that are not only built to be heard at loud volumes, but also seen. With the project as much about film as it is music, the accompanying visual production created by LA based artist Lake Hills follows on from 2022’s ‘Infinite Falling Ground’. Conceived as a short film, the narrative continues the relationship between characters Emma and Charlie from Infinite Falling Ground, this time focused on the theme of fatherhood.

Gove explains, “For me this music is loaded with agenda both emotionally and vocationally. I’m journaling an era of contemplation about the experience of fatherhood, both as a parent but also as the child of a fascinatingly mysterious father. I’m also in need of a vehicle to pursue my ambitions in visual arts and with this album comes the opportunity to create a sequel film.

Individually we have wildly different connections to this collection of songs and for Jay it’s almost the exact opposite. These tracks were born into a formless framework and to explore their meaning or purpose would break the self-soothing properties that musicianship offers to him. They’re intentionally disconnected from any classifiable emotional, commercial, or reputational agenda.”

It’s this curious codependency, where the over-conceptual motives of one member meets the blissful indifference of the other, which creates an atomically stable middle-ground in Ivy Lab.

After about 12 months of collecting demo material, in February 2024 Ivy Lab took to the wilderness of Exmoor and The Devon Analogue; an incredible residential studio perched high in the hills overlooking the moor, whose kit list is curated with electronic musicians at its heart. Gove says, “We needed quality tones from rare synthesisers and a mixing chain of vintage-electronics to patinate the music and soften up its jagged edges”.

A capsule for the timbre found across the album and the first track written for the project, ‘Left With You’ sets a pensive mood. Melodious, transportive atmospheres continue through ‘Curves’ torpid beats and the tranquil jam ‘Precious’. ‘Olo’ is essentially a deep-house influenced Jersey club track with a muffled, lo-fi quality to it. Gove says, “Ungodly amount of iterations and man-hours have gone into this track, perhaps more than any other we’ve made”.

From an initially distorted dub beast, ‘Saxon’ glides effortlessly into smooth soul territory while ‘Lucy’ juxtaposes cuts of rapid rapping with sweetly cooed balladering. A late addition to the project, ‘Blockhead’ introduces playful moments to an otherwise sombre journey. “It lifts a lot of influence from early millennium club-rap beats from artists like Swizz Beats, Just Blaze & Timbaland – probably the most similar track to our work from six or seven years ago when we were the most invested in making dancefloor bangers”.

From experimentations on the fringes of the UK bass music scene; Ivy Lab broke out their vision of instrumental beat music through 2015 pseudo-mixtape ‘Ivy Lab presents 20/20 Volume.1’. The album was described as “Uncompromising, insightful and awesome” 9/10 by Mixmag and “Impossible to categorise” 9/10 by DJ Mag. Little over a year later, the label was awarded the title of Best Breakthrough Label in the DJ Mag Best of British Awards.

Ivy Lab’s first album proper, ‘Death Don’t Always Taste Good’, was released in 2018, which also saw them take over BBC Radio 1’s Essential Mix and interviewed for Resident Advisor’s Exchange. Capping the decade with an anchored presence at the cutting edge of the bass-music landscape, they had also secured a reputation as pioneering label bosses and event promoters with Twenty Twenty London as one of the UK’s most exciting contemporary music brands. A series of singles and EP releases led to 2022’s ‘Infinite Falling Ground’ album, which marked a new era for the duo in touring an immersive A/V show designed more with art spaces in mind than clubs. ‘Infinite Falling Ground Pt.2’ will continue this experience, with a tour planned this autumn.