Lack of Afro Press On
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.