Lack of Afro Press On

Freestyle, 2007

Future Music - - FILTER | CLASSIC ALBUM -

Be­fore the five studio al­bums, sam­ple packs, tours, and mu­sic for films and world­wide ad cam­paigns, Lack of Afro was just an­other strug­gling funky breaks pro­ducer. Back in the mid-noughties the man be­hind the moniker, Adam Gib­bons, was just a young buck, work­ing for Sky TV in Lon­don. After his usual 12-hour shift he’d ride the train home, bump­ing beats and scrib­bling down mix­ing com­ments in his lit­tle note­book. Then it was back to the bed­room studio to fire up his mono­lithic Dell lap­top, boot up his pi­rated soft­ware, and work un­til the wee hours of the morn­ing, fine-tun­ing his tracks.

“I’d do that, ev­ery day, for about seven or eight months,” says Gib­bons, shak­ing his head in dis­be­lief at his younger self. “I don’t know how I did it. It was crazy, but I was young and hun­gry and keen to put mu­sic out.”

Thank­fully his all-con­sum­ing beat­mak­ing life­style yielded re­sults. The metic­u­lous drum pro­gram­ming, per­fectly snatched vo­cal sam­ples, and count­less in­tri­cate ref­er­ences to vin­tage funk and soul that pep­per his de­but LP could have only been achieved by some­one with this in­sane at­ten­tion to de­tail.

“I was young,” he laughs. “I didn’t have a fam­ily or mis­sus. And I’d just moved to Lon­don and didn’t know any­one, at all. Go­ing to work, com­ing home, and mak­ing the al­bum was my life.”

Press On was writ­ten as an al­bum. Each song pur­posely cre­ated to make it work. The intro wel­comes you in, and it builds from there. He sam­ples and plays live funk and soul, Latin and break­beat, gain­ing mo­men­tum as each track fin­ishes be­fore set­ting up for the down­tempo closer. Not a sec­ond of filler gets air­time.

“I had such a sin­gu­lar vi­sion of get­ting an al­bum out,” he says. “You get into a rhythm of writ­ing tracks, and when you’re in a good one, you just roll with it.” Some­thing we can all iden­tify with.

Gib­bons’ mu­si­cal mo­men­tum con­tin­ues to­day. His beats can be heard on ABC, Fox, and NBC, and his brand new (sixth) Lack of Afro al­bum, Jack Of All Trades, is just about to drop on his own LOA Records im­print in May. His younger self would be proud.

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