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Music Producer: Trayer Tryon
Audio Engineer: Danny Clifton
Lighting Design and Camera Operation: Abigail Clark & Macy Lamers
Recorded at Pulp Arts
OLAN (real name Luzana Flores) will present a live performance of her debut album ‘Contra’ filmed at PULP Arts, Florida, on September 22nd on her Youtube Channel: https://youtu.be/xsD0_usUlCA
Here is a taster of the performance -‘Afterlife’ feat. Acrillics.
The culmination of many months in solitude, ‘Contra’ began as a natural form of escape and expression for OLAN, helping her find peace amidst the years of uncertainty brought on by the pandemic:
“‘Contra’ is an album I wrote as a way to find some peace with my life having no definitive purpose at the time. I often try to attach meaning to everything I encounter. I force myself to re-live memories. I’ll try to unpack them and see how I could change my reality if I had just been a better person.”
Musically, ‘Contra’ is inculcated with a variety of electronic styles from melodic house, breakbeat, downtempo and drum & bass, to ambient and hip-hop. Influenced by the likes of Maribou State, Little Dragon, T.E.E.D and Bonobo, as well as the cult video game ‘Outer Wilds’, the sound of ‘Contra’ is fluid and alluringly hard to pin down. OLAN’s penchant for textural soundscapes is showcased in atmospheric tracks such as ‘Push’ and ‘Submerge’ and the buoyant Balearic vibes of ‘Material’. Conversely, the jungle rhythms and acid basslines on ‘Promise To Keep’ and ‘Reckoning’ demonstrate how raw, energetic dance-inducing songwriting comes naturally to the Atlanta-based producer.
This songwriting versatility is also showcased in OLAN’s colourful catalogue, which includes co-writing credits for ‘Bussit’ with Ari Lennox, collaborations with Mat Zo on his 2020 album ‘Illusion of Depth’, the single release of ‘In Motion’ with rising star Nourey, and ‘Push’, first released on Anjunadeep’s Reflections series.
In ‘Contra’, the aforementioned themes of self-awareness and self-acceptance are persistent throughout and realised in OLAN’s considered lyrics. Opening track ‘Submerge’ contemplates the cyclical nature of life’s lessons, exclaiming “there’s no limit to the depth that I can relive it all”. Other tracks such as ‘Promise To Keep’ and ‘Ultraviolet’ raise questions about fulfilment and where it comes from – “I’m asking more questions / Taking no secrets / But is there a message / When nothing is sacred?”. Each song presented a cathartic moment for Lu, as she explains:
“Making this album was the first time I could be present the grief, loneliness, or isolation I felt when my expectations didn’t match my surroundings. It made me realize how much happier I am when I detach from stories or specific outcomes.”
Given she learnt her craft as a classical musician between orchestra classes and worship bands, OLAN prominently incorporated her own live instrumentation and vocals whilst recording the album. Suitably, she has taken ‘Contra’ on tour live this year, with previous performances at Beyond Wonderland, Ultra, Ben Böhmer’s North American tour, The Gorge Weekender, Group Therapy Weekender London, and shows to come as part of her North American Tour.
As a queer woman of colour OLAN is used to standing out. However, it is her capacity for creative production, dynamic songwriting, singing and instrumentation that really sets her apart from her contemporaries.
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#Anjunadeep #OLAN #Contra
A Guide to Genres and Festivals
Music has always been regarded as a very important aspect of life, but there has been little agreement over its essential nature. The ancient Greek philosopher Democritus, for example, denied that music is necessary for human life. Although this view is still prevalent today, it is beginning to be challenged by growing understanding of the psychological nature of play.
Despite the fact that many ancient philosophers argued that music is a form of art, their underlying assumptions about its purpose and value are very different from modern views. Plato, for instance, treated music as an aspect of ethics, treating earthly sounds as a shadow of a perfect ideal. Likewise, Aristotle, in his time, thought that works of art contained a certain amount of truth. This idea was echoed by the Stoic philosopher, Plotinus, who wrote in the 3rd century ce.
Although music has always been an important part of life, listening to music simply for its own sake is a relatively recent development. Improvisational song and dance have been a part of human culture, and performing music has a long history in churches, homes, and in theatre productions. The first public opera house opened in Venice in 1637, while the first public concert in England took place in 1672. In the next 50 years, the first concerts with admission fees were performed in France and Germany. However, the modern concert didn’t really become a prominent aspect of music life until the mid-18th century.
Modern music has taken on a multitude of forms and styles. While a wide variety of genres exist, music is a universal language that enables humans to express and understand one another. While the world is governed by music, it is a part of the human experience, influencing our daily lives and creating an atmosphere for us to live in.