Digging Deep Into The Brainfeeder Catalogue
In the eyes of many, Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder imprint is the leading symbol of DIY done right.
Formed in 2008 the label brought together the artists who were part of a burgeoning musical movement we now know as “The Beat Scene”. Straddling the lines of Instrumental Hip Hop, Experimental Electronic, Jazz and so many others, the scene quickly caught the ears of many different audiences worldwide. Today, Brainfeeder’s left-of-centre approach to music industry standards and unhinged creativity expresses an inspiring mantra of “you can do it too, you just have to try”. Unlike many collectives and record labels who have risen to the international level, Brainfeeder doesn’t front when it comes to their image and their origin story. It’s homemade psychedelia from basement beginnings, and at the end of the day they’re all just a bunch of humans getting a little crazy while having a ton of fun doing it.
2018 marks the imprint’s 10 year anniversary, so to celebrate the occasion we’ve taken a deep dive into their archives and dug up some outstanding releases and rarities you may have missed.
Teebs “Bonus Sounds” (2011)
Coming as a bonus digital EP with the vinyl purchase of his second full length LP, this hard to find collection of tracks and reworks further expands the world of Teebs.
Alex B “Brain Food” (2009)
For their first couple releases, Brainfeeder put out mixtapes and compilation discs to build a sonic identity for themselves. One of these mixes was by Alex B (who’s now known as Paper Diamond). This throws it way back to where it all started!
Strangeloop “Fields” (2011)
Strangeloop, more widely known for being one of Brainfeeder’s visual artists, delivers a three-part A/V experience which reportedly follows the narrative of a hallucinogenic drug-trip. Beautifully minimal Ambient sessions to relax to.
Thundercat “Bowzer’s Ballad” (2013)
Hiroshi Yamauchi transformed Nintendo from a small Hanafuda card-making company into the multibillion-dollar video game publisher that it is today. Brainfeeder released this loosie for free download as a tribute to Yamauchi only a few days after his passing in September of 2013.
Locust Toybox “Drownscapes” (2017)
Locust Toybox is the alias of British animator David Firth, who’s best known for his Salad Fingers cartoons as well as working with Flying Lotus on the feature film KUSO. This album is a collection of kind of creepy, kind of beautiful, strangely emotional tunes that lean on the experimental side of things. They just might be the perfect musical backdrops for a few odd short films…?
My Dry Wet Mess “Stereo Typing” (2012)
Made over a 15 month period (November 2010 – January 2012) between Barcelona and Berlin, this LP was made to tell stories using sound instead of words, hence the name “Stereo Typing”. Maybe lesser known in the catalogue, the quality and aesthetic still align with Brainfeeder’s name.
JP Moregun “JP Moregun” (2016)
Rapper Jeremiah Jae and DJ/Producer PBDY come together on this smokey and cinematic Hip Hop LP which Brainfeeder released as a free download (why??). It calls to mind the style of Roc Marciano and The Alchemist – minimal loops set the scene for rich poetic narratives.
Ahu “Vita Ahu Nova!” (2009)
Another one of the Brainfeeder mixtapes came in the shape of “Vita Ahu Nova!”, which traversed the world of Italian Movie Soundtracks. It’s a perfect mix for popping on in the car while driving down the coast early in the morning… I’m speaking from experience!
RYAT “Totem” (2012)
RYAT has featured on many tracks by the label’s more well-known artists, so it makes sense that she’s also released a full length LP with Brainfeeder. Her vocals serve as the centre of most of these songs, taking on various forms through effects and loops. Some truly beautiful and genre-less music.
Miguel Baptista Benedict “Super(b)-Child-Ran” (2013)
Possibly the most left-field release in the Brainfeeder catalogue (that’s saying something!) comes from Mike Benedict aka Miguel Baptista Benedict. The album is a sort of bent-out-of-shape look at Folk music which could serve as the soundtrack to a collage of home videos.