Loraine James is releasing a new album, called 'Building Something Beautiful For Me', this autumn. Listen to lead single 'Maybe If I (Stay On It)' below.
The eight-track LP pays homage to late New York composer Julius Eastman, who died aged 49 in 1990 in relative obscurity and has seen a resurgence of recognition in recent years. Not all of Eastman's music has survived the passage of time, and James pulls from his key minimalist works and nods to his titles with tracks like 'Choose To Be Gay (Femenine)', "The Perception of Me (Crazy N******)' and lead track 'Maybe If I (Stay On It)'. Through building a connection with Eastman's surviving brother Gerry, James was able to access a zip drive of Eastman's original files.
Designer Dennis McInnes was enlisted for the album art, furthers Eastman's ethos and the project's intention of centreing Black creatives. The design is inspired by Eastman's own notes in the pages of his manuscript reading, “We sought to visually convey the complexity of what we may see as beautiful, how beauty is misunderstood and often lies beneath the surface."
'Building Something Beautiful For Me', out 7th October, is James' first album for Phantom Limb. She has released a string of acclaimed albums and EPs for Hyperdub and an ambient LP for Ghostly International under the alias Whatever The Weather earlier this year. James has also recently remixed Tirzah and collaborated with TSVI on a joint EP for AD 93.
Before the LP's release, James will perform live renditions with the London Contemporary Orchestra at Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall on 2nd October.
Ahead of her 2021 Hyperdub album, titled 'Reflection', Christian Eede interviewed James about creating in the pandemic, collaboration and more — revisit the feature here.
Listen to 'Maybe If I (Stay On It)'.
Photo credit: Tim Saccenti