Four years on from his ‘Dark Red’ album and LA producer Henry Laufer’s solo work is as luscious and melancholic as ever. Released back in March, the WeDidIt boss’ new long-player — ‘The End’ — is, as the name suggests, “vaguely about the end of the world”, and what a gentle, contemplative, shoegaze-y apocalypse it is. Ranging from the lullaby trap of the title track, through the thundering guitar of ‘Ungrateful’, to the rapid IDM of ‘Panic Attack’, influences as varied as hip-hop, new wave, grunge and doom metal come together to contrast an eye-popping image of destruction against the beautiful simplicity of the mundane.
The LP continues a superb run of form for Laufer, having scored a film (titled Share) shown at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, published his own photobook, and produced original tracks and remixes for the likes of Yung Lean, Corbin and Gucci Mane in the past few years alone.
As part of our Take Ten series, we asked Laufer to round up a few choice cuts that have influenced him throughout the years...
01. Four Tet ‘You Were There With Me’
“Impossible to pick a favorite Four Tet song, but this is definitely one of them. The pace of this song is so beautiful, how long it takes for each piece to come in makes it so much more satisfying when they do. Possibly where my love of chime samples comes from.”
02. John Maus ‘Bennington’
“I love John Maus so fucking much. This song will always be really special to me. I finally got to see him perform recently and it was one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen — even with just him and a mic. Very heavy. I definitely shed a tear.”
03. Squarepusher ‘Beep Street’
“At one point I think I listened to this song on repeat every time I got in the car for several days. I’m always finding something new in it. I could really listen to it forever.”
04. Tom Waits ‘Alice’
“My dad put me onto Tom Waits when I was a kid. I remember becoming obsessed with this album in, like, ninth grade. He creates such a special space in this song with sound design and the quality of the recording. There’s not much else like it.”
05. Miles Davis ‘Blue In Green’
“I think I listen to this album every time I’m on a plane.”
06. Sleep ‘Dopesmoker’
“Legendary stoner metal song. It’s like an hour long. I remember seeing this documentary about the making of the song and they said something about the riff being so good they kept trying to stop the song, but it felt all awkward [so] it just became about finding how to set the thing back to the ground, how does it land? And that just happened to take them an hour.”
07. DJ Rashad ‘Let It Go’
“Important song from a very important musician to me. I play this out almost every time I DJ. He was such a positive energy and this song really captures this other side of footwork that can be incredibly thoughtful and introspective.”
08. Bohren & Der Club Of Gore ‘Im Rauch’
“Only found out about these guys a few years ago. Really slow beautiful goth jazz.”
09. Sonic Youth ‘Superstar’
“This is a cover they did of The Carpenters for this tribute album, ‘If I Were A Carpenter’. Brilliant reimagining of the original and probably my favorite Sonic Youth song [laughs]. The guitar feedback and quality of the vocals being quietly sung but loudly recorded always really inspired me.”
10. Actress ‘Our’
“One of my favourite electronic musicians. Every song feels like such a specific moment in time. The space and melody in this one are so captivating, such a perfect little vignette. I could live in it.”