Ladi6 releases The Alpha Sessions

Ladi6 releases The Alpha Sessions

In July 2015, Ladi, Parks, Julien Dyne and Brandon Haru of respected New Zealand soul/rap/beats ensemble Ladi6 spent their Thursday and Saturday nights improvising some vibrantly fresh new songs and beats at Auckland and Wellington’s Matterhorn bars. They wrote Automatic in the studio on the clock. This time, they wanted to take advantage of the improvisational possibilities afforded by the inspiration of a live audience.

“Having all played numerous memorable shows at Matterhorn in Wellington throughout their careers, when the owners opened Matterhorn Auckland earlier in the year, a split residency made perfect sense. Matterhorn Wellington is historical,” Ladi enthuses.

“It was one of my first drinking spots as a young musician coming up in Wellington. It’s like Dux De Lux in Christchurch. It’s a live venue that has been around forever and every musician from that area has in their heart.”

Across nine gigs, collectively known as The Alpha Sessions, they shaped a series of new songs. In the process, they were successfully tackling one of the most fundamental challenges you can face as a musician, how to change while remaining the same? While the addition of Julien Dyne on drums and Brandon Haru on keyboards had expanded their sound over recent years, things went even further after Parks acquired a Tempest analog drum machine.

“In the past Parks has used backing tracks in our set,” Ladi explains. “The Tempest let him play them live and gave us more freedom.” Equally crucial was creating live and in the moment. “Feeding off an audience changed everything,” she continues. “When you’re entertaining a dancefloor you can’t be dark. We’ve always been self-reflective and involved in our music, so having the influence of feeding off crowd energy was nice.”

After The Alpha Sessions, they headed into Red Bull Studios in Auckland to recreate the best of their experiments with in-house engineer Ben Lawson.

Once the initial recording was done, it was time for some reassessment. “We could see all the good in what we’d done, but something was missing,” Ladi says.

In the process of carving out a fresh synthesiser-heavy soundworld for themselves, they’d neglected the throwback 90s boombap drums they utilized so effectively on their first two albums. “We saw the potential in our new sound, but we also missed the old thing,” she continues. Collectively, they’d long viewed Ladi’s rich, whiskey toned singing voice as the connective thread in their music. Here however, it became clear how much of what defines the Ladi6 sound is Parks’ production.

“It properly sunk in and we came to a full realisation,” Ladi elaborates. “Parks has created and mastered something good, and we need to keep running with it. If we bring it together with our new shit, we’re going to get what we need to hear.”

Ever striving for higher heights and more profound musical experiences, Ladi6 once again flipped the script to create the 6-track EP Royal Blue 3000, set for release on June 2.
Listen to the lead single Guru here.

Royal Blue 3000 is available to pre-order now via iTunes with ‘Guru’ as an instant grat track.

Related posts

Rei Releases Groundbreaking Te Reo Māori EP ‘Rangatira’

Rei Releases Groundbreaking Te Reo Māori EP ‘Rangatira’

Some say Te Reo Māori is a dying language. Some say there is no place for it outside of the marae. With the release of Rei’s new groundbreaking Hip Hop Te Reo EP ‘Rangatira’, he is out to prove them wrong. ‘Rangatira’ means ‘chief’, which directly relates to Rei’s musical kaupapa of...

Drax Project add second Auckland show! 

Drax Project add second Auckland show! 

Tickets to Drax Project at the Powerstation in Auckland sold out in less than 10 minutes when they went on sale earlier this week. Now due to overwhelming demand, the phenomenal four-piece is adding a second show on Saturday, May 12. The Saturday show will be licensed, with an allocation of...

OUT TODAY! The full-length album from The Disappointments

OUT TODAY! The full-length album from The Disappointments

Three of New Zealand’s most well-known musicians and personalities have banded together as The Disappointments to today release what critics are already describing as one the most honest and authentic Kiwi albums of 2018. The self-titled album THE DISAPPOINTMENTS has been a labour of love for...

SKINNY HOBOS ANNOUNCE NATIONAL TOUR IN SUPPORT OF DEBUT ALBUM

SKINNY HOBOS ANNOUNCE NATIONAL TOUR IN SUPPORT OF DEBUT ALBUM

Straight off the back of a scorching Homegrown set in Wellington, a couple of dates on I Am Giant’s final NZ tour and the announcement of their debut performance at Spark Arena in support of Biffy Clyro, Skinny Hobos celebrate the launch of their debut album with an 11 date national tour. Never...