James Labrosse has quite a surprising background to be landing on an EDM-soaked publication page such as this, but it’s not unwarranted. The classically trained Berklee College of Music graduate started out by going to Spain to study Flamenco guitar. Now based in New York, Labrosse has been working on his debut full-length album called Orange Night since 2016. It’s no wonder; the album is technically complex with big, theatrical sounds and drama at every turn.
Combining classical and electronic music generally results in something along the lines of experimental electronica, but in the case of James Labrosse and Orange Night, that is not the case. The first single and opening track on the album is a perfect example. It is textbook drum and bass. Well, not exactly textbook; “Find A Way” is definitely on the jazzy end and the DnB drum beat is done live on an analog drum kit. This is not as unconventional as DnB fans may think, however, as this style of analog drum and bass has existed at least since the late 90s, when Roni Size debuted his hear-stopping classic New Forms album. At any rate, “Find A Way” is a great introduction or re-introduction to this jazzy style with its emotive vocals and swelling electronic synths.
The rest of Orange Night is equally jazzy and seems to be a deliberate theme for Labrosse this time around, but it also never deviates from electronic influence. Trip hop, electronic pop, ambient electronica and more DnB are what crossover fans can look forward to on this album. It doesn’t sound or play like what most EDM fans are used to, but those who appreciate well-composed music of every kind and especially drum and bass/jazz fusion will definitely dig Labrosse’s debut album.
Orange Night releases on May 25 and will be available to purchase on James Labrosse’s Bandcamp page. Check out his website for more news and singles as they become available and to listen to his previous EP called Fruta.