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Labradford biography
Founded in Richmond, Virginia, U.S. in 1992 - Disbanded in 2001

LABRADFORD was an ambient/post rock trio consisting of Robert Donne (bass), Mark Nelson (Guitars, vocals), and Carter Brown (Keyboards) who began making music together in the early nineties. Like their label mates Stars of the Lid and The dead Texan, LABRADFORD focus more on lush electronic ambient soundscapes than on dynamic, and heavily structured songs. contrary to most ambient groups though, Labradford focus on electric guitar effects such as delay and reverb, giving off more of a post rock feel. Also, the music tends to be more defined than most ambient groups, with fewer drone passages, and more solid percussive and orchestral songs.

LABRADFORD has released Five albums; Prazision (1993), A stable Reference (1994), Labradford (1996), Mi Media Naranja (1998), and Fixed Content (2001). They have also released a batch of EP's and compilation material. Since their last album though, they've been on hiatus, and the status on whether or not the group will join together again is unsure. Recommended for fans of ambient and post rock fans alike!

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LABRADFORD Videos (YouTube and more)

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Kranky 2003
$2.89 (used)
E Luxo SoE Luxo So
Kranky 1999
$3.49 (used)
Mi Media NaranjaMi Media Naranja
Kranky 1997
$3.49 (used)
Kranky 1996
$6.72 (used)
Stable ReferenceStable Reference
Kranky 1995
$5.29 (used)
Prazision LPPrazision LP
Extra tracks
Kranky 1995
$2.71 (used)
Prazision LP by Labradford (1995-05-26)Prazision LP by Labradford (1995-05-26)
$19.95 (used)
Fixed: Context by LABRADFORDFixed: Context by LABRADFORD
$28.04 (used)
A Stable Reference by LabradfordA Stable Reference by Labradford
Flying Nun
$108.35 (used)
Scenic RecoveryScenic Recovery
$17.46 (used)

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LABRADFORD discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

LABRADFORD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.07 | 9 ratings
4.14 | 7 ratings
A Stable Reference
4.55 | 10 ratings
3.45 | 12 ratings
Mi Media Naranja
3.31 | 7 ratings
E Luxo So
4.44 | 9 ratings

LABRADFORD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

LABRADFORD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

LABRADFORD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

LABRADFORD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Prazision by LABRADFORD album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.07 | 9 ratings

Labradford Post Rock/Math rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars LABRADFORD was one of the very first bands to follow in the footsteps of Talk Talk's early creations that would retrospectively be tagged as post-rock. This Richmond, VA band formed in 1991 by Robert Donne (bass), Mark Nelson (guitars, vocals) and Carter Brown (keyboards) and would become one of the 90s most surreal versions of the newborn subgenre of the rock universe. While the group's strange sonic freeflowing experimentation has always relied on the drifting guitar effects and synthesized passages with the occasional murmured vocals and acoustic guitar, the earliest albums such as their debut PRAZISION (A German word for "precision" minus the umlaut) are almost exclusively a rather dark and detached mix of ambient and droning rock however the rock part of the equation is pretty much absent from the scene.

PRAZISION is very much a slow nebulous ambient album that is as cold and detached as the best Klaus Schulze material only has a more industrial feel to it. The sound effects are derived from various sources such as the Memorymoog, Polymoog, Korg Polysix, Roland Vocoder Plus and Moog Taurus II bass pedals which dominate as the primary forms of sound effects. While PRAZISION doesn't sound like post-rock as much as other bands at this point due to large parts of the real estate being swallowed up by the spaced out clouds of sound that meander randomly, the inclusion of tracks like "Sliding Glass" and "Everlast" are based on acoustic guitar chords strummed in a robotic manner with emotionless vocals struggling to emerge from a thick synthesized soup that permeates every cadence. These types of tracks are more similar to slowcore bands like Low and Galaxie 500 but the incessant droning makes this a far more freaky, even shoegazy affair.

While the early 90s was the beginning of post-rock emerging as a separate style of music, the more cute and cuddly bands like Talk Talk, Slint and Bark Psychosis seem to garner more recognition for their contributions to the scene but LABRADFORD was very much instrumental in adding many of the ambient and shoegaze elements that bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor would nurture to great effect on their popular and monumental albums of the late 90s. As LABRADFORD developed from a duo to a trio, they would implement ever more experimental effects that add many layers of ambience that create a much larger sum of the individual parts. This is defiantly one of those cloud cover albums where the sonic streams flow at a glacial pace around the slightest of rhythmic regularities, usually in the form of a softly strummed guitar accompanied by barely audible downer vocal performance, however droning effects also provide the stabilizing effect as well. This music is sombre, bleak and devoid of any enthusiastic expression but creates a unique amalgamation of different styles that no other band had juxtaposed together.

Post-rock is said to have derived from the mix of ambient, space rock, Krautrock and wall-of-sound production techniques along with minimalism and tape music. While others would go on to add elements of jazz and math rock, LABRADFORD instead of following Talk Talk's lead in creating epic sounding extended jazz-tinged post-rock expressions, rather focuses exclusively on the atmospheric possibilities of a sprawling epic soundtrack feeling backdrop that sounds half extraterrestrial and half industrial Earth- based at the same time, especially on the freakier tracks like "Gratitude" with the processed robotic vocals piercing through the thickened haze of synthesized sound effects but yet offer a slight organ recital finding its way through the sonic brume. While epic in sonic possibilities, perhaps what PRAZISION hadn't quite yet achieved in the post-rock paradigm is that of a satisfying ratcheting up of tension that climaxes in a thunderous crescendo, a technique Godspeed You! would make mandatory in the post-rock world.

To be fair, this debut album isn't quite post-rock yet as the elements were just freshly thrown into the pot and the stove recently lit to allow them to simmer into a new form of musical expression, however this album does embark on a very interesting ambient journey through a maelstrom of turbulent synthesized effects that create bizarre dismal soundscapes and atmospheric anomalies. If ethereally cold and dark, somber melancholy is your desire, then LABRADFORD's debut PRAZISION will fulfill those wishes many times over. As alienating as KIaus Schulze's "Irrlicht" with brief respites of codeine laced bouts of depressive overtones. Not a perfect debut but much to like from this one which launched LABRADFORD into the post-rock limelight of the 90s.

 Mi Media Naranja by LABRADFORD album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.45 | 12 ratings

Mi Media Naranja
Labradford Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. I just can't pull the trigger on 4 stars. To my ears their self-titled album is so much better, just my tastes in music I know but it is an amazing headphone album and quite dark and emotional. This one lacks the emotion completely for me and I don't like some of the sounds they've added here. Very much hit and miss for me. This was released in 1997 and a promo copy I've seen does have song titles instead of just a letter or letters for the songs so I'll give them in brackets as I speak briefly on each one.

"S" (Spaghetti) opens with some nice depth to the sound with guitar and organ. A beat and violin join in just before 2 minutes but I'm not into this sound. It settles back thankfully at 3 minutes and it's quite melancholic with that violin slowly playing over top. This continues to the end. "G" (Footsteps) has picked guitar along with a second guitar as a beat joins in with faint voices and more.

"WR" has the same title and it's one of my favourites. Relaxed guitar along with picked guitar with samples of a child before the keyboards arrive. Some nice bass. I like this one a lot. "C" (CM) has sounds that echo with atmosphere, high pitched percussion-like sounds and more. A change around 5 minutes as the organ arrives and sounds start to build. Nice. It fades out late.

"I" (Grate) is a top two. The organ floats in as a sample arrives then picked guitar and bass. The organ starts to lead actually playing a melody. Gasp! Some water sounds start to come and go. A spoken word sample at 2 1/2 minutes is very brief but it's back a minute later but for a longer period. "V" (Victor) has some depth to it with that atmosphere and bass. Almost spoken words before a minute then violin along with piano. It picks up some before 3 minutes as the vocals leave and the guitar becomes the focus. Cello after 4 minutes.

"P" (Piano) ends it and it's the longest at over 9 minutes. Piano to start surprisingly as we get some guitar that echoes. This is laid back and slow. Piano and atmosphere only before 3 1/2 minutes then the guitar returns. This stays slow and repetitive to the end. Not big on this one.

So right from the first listens of these back to back albums I favoured the previous self titled album by a lot, and many listens of both confirmed this. Well worth checking out to those into ambient Post-Rock.

 Labradford by LABRADFORD album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.55 | 10 ratings

Labradford Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars My rating certainly reflects my personal taste in music. After listening to this for the first time I immediately put on their next album "Mi Media Naranja" because everyone feels that is their best album. I didn't after that first spin so I did the rare thing and have been listening to two albums by the same band for over a week now. I feel more strongly than ever that this their self titled release from 1996 is by far the best I've heard from them. These guys are from Richmond, Virginia. Been through that state many times over the years and the music here is quite dark and minimalistic. They were a trio of guitar, vocals, keyboards and bass. Some guest violin on here too. The vocals are pretty much spoken. This is the ultimate headphone album with the way the guitar echoes and reverbs along with other sounds generated by keyboards and more.

A great example of this is the opener called "Phantom Channel Crossing" where we here what sounds like chains and clanking sounds as a deep atmosphere rolls in. It's dark as the soundscape vibrates. Some heavy beats like a heart beat join in after a minute. A strange high pitched noise comes in over top as well. Chains are back late and this is music for the imagination for sure.

"Midrange" has a beat with guitar that echoes along with atmosphere. It becomes louder as the violin joins in. It's even louder before 1 1/2 minutes as almost spoken vocals arrive, sounds like organ too. The vocals stop a minute later as the beat and organ lead. More vocals along with that earlier sound after 3 1/2 minutes as themes are repeated. It's moving to me after 4 1/2 minutes with that violin. Picked guitar and atmosphere end it.

"Pico" is my favourite. So moving! We get bass and organ as picked guitar joins in then almost whispered vocals. So melancholic as synth-like sounds come in over top. It turns dark before 2 1/2 minutes, so good! That uplifting and emotional sound is back after 3 1/2 minutes with vocals. "The Cipher" has percussion-like sounds and atmosphere to start. A high pitched sound arrives just before a minute. Some violin scratching too. Love the atmosphere after 1 1/2 minutes. Love this stuff!

"Lake Speed" opens with pulsating sounds as drums and guitar expressions kick in. Vocals and organ before a minute. Vocals as usual are almost spoken. Picked guitar a minute in. He says "The clock is ticking..." then urgent sounds come in over top before it calms back down. Themes are repeated. Incredible to my ears and it's moving after 3 minutes.

"Sonic Recovery" has a beat with faint guitar as distant vocals join in. It's louder just before a minute but settles back again. Violin after 1 1/2 minutes as the beat, guitar and vocals continue. It's louder again. "Battered" ends it and it's the longest track at almost 8 minutes. Atmosphere with organ and different sparse sounds as the vocals join in. It's moving me here. It does brighten some before 1 1/2 minutes but it's brief. This will happen again at 2 1/2 minutes but again it's brief. Some sinister sounding bass lines take over before 4 minutes then the guitar at 4 minutes echoes. Nice. Some organ-like sounds too.

One of the better Post-Rock albums I've heard for sure and I'll be reviewing several more as I try to come up with a personal top 20 in the coming weeks.

 E Luxo So by LABRADFORD album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.31 | 7 ratings

E Luxo So
Labradford Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Lewian

3 stars This is a slow and fairly minimalist atmospheric instrumental album. The tracks are all rhythmic although there are no drums; sometimes percussive electronic sounds are used, and sometimes the rhythm is carried by repeated motifs of guitar or piano or sometimes electronic keyboard. The music is all quite harmonic and muted and mostly in melancholic minor. It's truly "post rock" in the sense that the band creates soundscapes rather than songs, but they do it in a rather warm and accessible way. There is this fun idea to get the song names from basically splitting up the credits into six parts, with which I can sympathise, knowing very well the struggle to name instrumentals that are not meant to have a meaning that would be expressible in words. The band underlines in this way the orientation toward atmosphere instead of song structure. It's the whole, not the parts, that counts. What I like about this album is that regarding the arrangements and the use of the instruments there is quite a bit of variation between the tracks. The music is certainly good for a melancholic mood and for meditative listening. Personally I have to say that for this kind of music I prefer a bit more mystery and a bit less reliance on conventional harmonies without all too fascinating ideas or melodies; the album is good at what it tries to be, but it doesn't do too much magic for me.
 Fixed::Context by LABRADFORD album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.44 | 9 ratings

Labradford Post Rock/Math rock

Review by d.o.k

5 stars fixed::context is in my opinion THE Labradford masterpiece, and an ambient masterpiece as well. After including sometimes strings in their previous albums, fixed::content goes more stripped. Great slow guitar sounds, organ, discreet bass and some electronic sound make an incredible album. How to describe in a simple manner the joy of this album ? ... Well, there is this 9th minute in the first track, Twenty (18min+ long). What happened in this 9th minute ? There is simply the arrival of the second guitar, just a few notes. But what a moment! That makes the track getting bigger while at the same time this is just a pleasant, reverbed and slow guitar.

Remember this is a masterpiece. Don't stop after the first listen, when it seems to be just a nice ambient thing with mellow sounds. This thing will grow in you (well at least if you're an ambient amateur!), you'll learn every notes, every beat, every sounds. You'll wait for that 2nd guitar at the 9th minute of Twenty ! It easily ranks at the same levels of the Brian Eno best works.

Thanks to Dim for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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