Interview by Fr. Jones
City Paper shoots the breeze with Malcom Lacey of Arrange about self-exploration, the relevance of Bandcamp, and the secrets of his mysterious debut LP-Plantation.
ML: The recording process was very fluid. I always begin tracks as instrumentals then mold vocals through the track after they're mostly completed. As far as how long it took, it was recorded fairly quickly. Not even days had passed after releasing the Quiet State EP had I completed "Turnpike." All in all it took about 3 and half months.
FR: In my review, I mentioned the M83 comparison several times.Â PlantationÂ also reminds me of Atlas Sound- the solo work of Deerhunter's Bradford Cox. Are you a member of any other projects in addition to Arrange?
ML: Arrange is my main musical output. I'm always seeking out and collaborating with other artists. Back in January I recorded two songs with Tony of Memoire D'amour under the Medic Hands moniker. They're very different than my Arrange material and I like it that way. It gives me a chance to play around in landscapes of a different sound. You can find those tracks here: medichands.bandcamp.com
ML: I'm currently in the process of nailing down a live show. It's a slow process, but something I'm very interesting in moving forward with.
ML: I had originally contacted Australian artist Kim Denson back in February to commission some artwork for the digital release of Plantation. She took a listen to a few key tracks from the record and came up with the beautiful collage piece you see on your downloads. It's beautiful, really and really works well as a visual interpretation of "Tearing Up Old Asphalt."
ML: Well thank you! I'm a huge fan of ambient, noise, and classical music. I wouldn't say I was channeling anyone in particular, but some of my favorites are Jefre Cantu-Ledesme, Brian Eno, Richard Skelton, and Infinite Body.
ML: Oh man there are so many. The thing about being an internet based artist is that you come in contact with so many supremely talented individuals. Ones that while I've never met in person, you feel a pretty close bond to musically. Of which I'll mention Sam Ray who makes music under the Ricky Eat Acid moniker. Just brilliant. He's currently based out of Baltimore and makes some of the most beautiful music on the east coast. Sam just released this track entitled "Blinded" that really is just full on audible bliss. http://soundcloud.com/
FR: Is there a song on the album you favor more than others?
ML: Hmm. It'd have to be a toss up between "When'd You Find Me?" and "Medicine Man."
ML: I guess in a nutshell you could say Plantation is about purging and self-exploration.
ML: I'd definitely say as I continue to grow physically and musically that those two themes will definitely expand themselves over the next few releases.
ML: Oh "Sore" was fun. I was going through all of these old records I received from a friend and came across an old Engelbert Humperdinck LP. I took the beginning of "Two Different Worlds" as the base and chopped up Mos Def's "Ms. Fat Booty" to place as the drum beat. Then added some Johnny Cash and Common (song and original sample escape me at the moment).
ML: Bandcamp is without a doubt one of the most important tools I've used during the time I've been making music. While there is still a diminishing market for hard copy CDs, I feel like digital is where it's at and I don't see it going anywhere else any time soon. Not so say I don't like physical formats, because I love having a 12" vinyl in my hand. The blowup artwork, the grain, the dust. Everything about it is so appealing. But when you can torrent nearly every single record, it's easy to see why physical album sales haven't been doing all to well.
ML: I guess I'd say keep working, writing, and creating. To quote prof. Gail Sher, "If writing is your practice, then the only way to fail is not to write."