Laurent Badoux aka Lawrence Le Doux is a man that knows how to blend in with his environment. This Liégeois might have had his best year to date, but he still operates under way too many radars. An impressive 12-inch (released by local record labels Le Pacifique and Unknown References) plus a stellar mini-album on the world-renowned Hivern Discs (of which none other than John Talabot is the owner) later and it’s clear this dude is on to something. After nominations for ‘Best Producer’ and ‘Best Album’ on the latest Red Bull Elektropedia Awards, the time was right to ask this relatively mysterious producer a thing or two about his work, his love for documentaries and living in the beautiful chaos that is Brussels.
Hi Laurent, you’re a hard person to research. Can you start off by telling us a little more about the person behind Lawrence Le Doux?
"Originally, I come from Flemalle, a suburb of Liège, but now I’m living in Molenbeek. I started to make music in the nineties with my brother (who is now called DJ Elephant Power) under our Scratch-Pet-Land moniker. Besides music, I teach sound and graphic design at the École De Recherche Graphique in Brussels."
What sparked your interest to start making beats?
"Simply by trying to understand the production process behind music I liked, which resulted later in buying the instruments and machines to recreate it. Nowadays, I work quite laid back in my apartment. I don’t argue too much with myself when I produce new bits. A tune comes around easily, after which I just try to simplify it, over and over again."
Your releases on Vlek were the first bits most people heard from you. More than 3 years after the first release, how do you look back on these tracks?
"I don't really look back at all, but after moving to Vlek, things did actually change for me. I really like working with these fellas; they have a vision, more than I do. They know what a record should be, every detail is taken into account. Releasing tracks with Vlek feels like a journey. They create a whole story around their music, which is something I can't do by myself."
Would you say you changed a lot as a producer since your first release?
"The way I produce is strongly influenced by my direct environment and my personal encounters. Parties like Holger (RIP), Le Pacifique, Deep in House (their latest one with PLO Man and Huerco S was a total blast!) are all great sources of inspiration for me. When you go out to places like these, you really learn to understand the sound, the vibe and the emotion. So these events become a trigger in my production process, but they’re also important for me as a human being; I want all these people to be part of my life, I guess..."
In which ways does living in Brussels influence your music?
"Living in Brussels is like being in a big international airport: it broadens your vision of the world. I do understand that people outside of Brussels find it quite confusing and complicated sometimes. It can be such a mess, but that’s the trigger for creativity a chaotic person like me needs every now and then."
What’s your relation with DJ-ing? Do you see it as a necessary part of today’s music industry or as a fun extension of being a producer?
"I love it. I really enjoy sharing music with people. My whole social network is just music people, really. This is maybe the only thing on this earth that can truly unite people. Since a short while, Brussels has 2 new radio stations, The Word Radio and Kiosk Radio, so it's fun to play there as DJ, which allows me to play more versatile than in clubs where I'm maybe a little more dancefloor-minded."
You dropped a mini-album called ‘Music For Documentaries’ on the famed John Talabot label Hivern Discs. How did that come about?
"They enjoyed my release on Vlek and subsequently asked me some tracks. The initial idea was to make a simple 12-inch - more dance oriented, but then I also sent them a file with some music I did for a documentary, which they liked immediately. They did a wonderful job compiling and organising all the tracks. You have to know these were a bunch of sketches and disorganised fragments to begin with. I really like the way Hivern Discs is moving, they are curious and don’t expect you to create a certain sound. I'm blessed to be on this label."
Which documentary was it for then?
"I was requested to make the music for a Belgian-American documentary: ‘Donna Haraway: Story Telling for Earthly Survival’ by Fabrizio Terranova. It’s about the life of Donna Haraway, a scientist and science fiction author of novels like ‘Simians, Cyborgs and Women - The Reinvention of Nature’, amongst others."
I can imagine making soundtracks for movies is something completely different than what you would normally do.
"It's not the first time I do movie scores, and I really like doing this. For these projects I tend work really fast and I usually drop a lot of ideas. It's not important to refrain from going too deep in the production process or to finish all the tracks, because you know most of them won't even be selected or they will be chopped up in post-production. The director asked me for ‘transparent music’ - it's a film with a lot of monologues and profound theories about humanity, but at the same time it’s an artistic portrait of an interesting intellectual. The music had to be meaningful, but not dominant."
So, which are your favourite documentaries?
"In terms of music and atmosphere I really like the BBC documentaries about nature, birds and animals. In terms of impact, there are so many good ones on Netflix."
Anything new in the pipeline we can know about?
"Absolutely! There will be a new Lawrence Le Doux record on Vlek in February 2018. Stay tuned, because it’s going to be way different from what I did before!"
That last quote made you curious? It should! Head over to Vlek's Souncloud page to keep an eye on that release! Want more stuff by monsieur Le Doux? Here are the links to his Facebook and Soundcloud page.