Ambient Electronic Artist THE ALBUM LEAF Add ‘In An Off White Room’ To Streaming Services
November 19, 2021 BY Nettwerk
Today, prestigious ambient electronic project The Album Leaf, shares his early EP, In An Off White Room, on all streaming platforms. Constructed in an eclectic manner, utilizing everything from ambient noise to field recordings to radio transmissions it was the defining record that solidified the sound for creator Jimmy LaValle. He explains, “This was the first time I recorded myself with a computer. I was involved with a community of musicians in San Diego that were really ahead of the curve with PC recording software. Rafter Roberts was building ‘music computers,’ and he built one for me. Since I didn’t know what I was doing, I recorded a cover of Kraftwerk’s – ‘Computer Love,’ so I didn’t have to think about writing, and I could learn how to track and mix within the DAW (Vegas by Sonic Foundry) I’d never recorded drums before, so I put two mics up in front of my drums, set up in the kitchen, and recorded a drum loop. This became, Project Loop. The rest of this EP was made in experimentation, seeing what I could do with this new angle of recording on a computer. It was quite literally created in my off-white living room.”
The EP preceded LaValle’s second full-length album, One Day I’ll Be on Time, which propelled The Album Leaf to a full-fledged live band touring with Sigur Rós (whose lead singer Jónsi just happened to stumble upon in it a record store in Iceland). As his career skyrocketed, labels came and went, and technology changed, his initial EP, In An Off White Room, which was so crucial to his sound, slipped through the digital cracks of time and was never rereleased to digital music services.
The Album Leaf began as the solo project of Jimmy LaValle, who came up in the San Diego music scene playing in hardcore bands and the instrumental rock band Tristeza. He had inked a deal to release his next solo album through the indie label Tigerstyle Records, so he put the modest advance towards a self-recording starter setup, building out the sound with occasional studio access. The music that emerged — vivid, rhythmic, soaring instrumentals guided by lines of Guitar and Rhodes — not only set the path for The Album Leaf over the next two decades of acclaimed releases (for Sub Pop, City Slang, and others), it became a touchstone for the next generation’s wave of melodic and meditative electro-organic music.
You can catch The Album Leaf performing as part of the Long Center’s Lookout with Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith on February 20th in Austin. Buy tickets here.