High Focus Records is undoubtedly one of the most inventive imprints to come out of the UK, home to a cast of stellar MC’s and pin sharp producers, High Focus leads the way when it comes to lyricism. By gently subverting the nostalgia of boom bap with future focused production and undiluted poetry, it’s a label that has earned legions of loyal fans worldwide. 2017 has been a landmark year for the label, and in celebration, today, Jam Baxter, Ed Scissor and GhostTown unveil a surprise LP: ‘Laminated Cakes’.
Back in 2012, buried in the heart of North London’s Holloway Road Jam Baxter, Ed Scissor and GhostTown got busy penning the songs that would go on to form the foundations of ‘Laminated Cakes’. A summer that was filled with the glory of the London Olympics laid the backdrop for an album that would showcase the best in unhinged, non-stop, uncontrolled hedonism.
Now unearthed as a wondrous time capsule, ‘Laminated Cakes’ is a lesson in the art of preservation, “The title I came up with was just in reference to musical tracks in general being similar to food but instead of rotting or decomposing they last forever.” the LP’s producer, GhostTown says of the new project. “Its also a nod to Dillas ‘Donuts’ title. We just thought it was a funny name so it stuck.”
Having set the ball rolling as the primary shareholder in Contact Play’s debut album ‘Champion Fraff’ way back in ’09, and with the release of ‘Rinse Out Friday / Spack Out Monday’ and ‘The Gruesome Features’ LPs – as well as his acclaimed ‘Mansion 38’ LP from this year – under his belt as a solo artist, Baxter has still found time to busy himself as one third of the Dead Players tripod. Multi layered in his approach, Baxter’s head on style plays as the ultimate compliment to the deep poetry of Ed Scissor – an artist known for his regular collaborations with Glasgow producer Lamplighter. Fuelled by a desire to blur the lines between fantasy and reality, Ed’s music has come to be known for it’s striking nods to love songs from the 60’s, 80’s power ballads and the seedy end of the 90’s R’n’B spectrum. His 2016 release ‘Tell Them It’s Winter’ left plenty of fans craving more and in ‘Laminated Cakes’ their wishes have been granted. The two come together under the production of GhostTown, and ‘Laminated Cakes’ shows off the depth and scope of three musicians unbound by expectation. “I think I made most of the beats for this whilst I didn’t really have anywhere to live. I had been kicked out of the place I was living and was just staying on peoples sofas and spare rooms.” GhostTown recalls, “At that time I was taking a lot of prescription drugs and drinking a lot of special brew and remember making some of the beats just on the floor of people’s living rooms on my desktop with the headphones on. I actually can’t remember making half of the beats for this album. Even though I made these beats a long time ago, some of them are my personal favourites of what I’ve made over the years.”
Across 12 tracks the artistry is finally laid bare, the last five years have seen hints of the project escape here and there in the shape of both ‘First Bite‘ & ‘Pipe Smoke‘. But now, for the first time ever fans are able to delve into their world of debauchery head first. ‘Excellent Donut’ is the first video release from the LP, a kaleidoscope of a city at night – shot on location in Berlin, GhostTown explains the process, “I had the Idea to film in Berlin as my friend Rob Blake who directed and shot the video is currently living there. Robs work has always impressed me and I had shot a video with him back in 2013 that came out really well for a track I did with Parly B. We spent one day trying to come up with concept and one day shooting. Rob always seems to come up with a way to shoot things that is fresh and unique and I think its always a bit more exciting to shoot videos in places that are unfamiliar and a bit different.”