BioThere are fewer locales more awe-inspiring than the frigid recesses of Iceland's Western coast- a calm, glacial landscape at the polar opposite of Jimmy LaValle's sunny, bustling California. Mosfellsbaer, Iceland and its surrounding areas are host to one of the world's most secluded and spotlighted meccas of creativity- few outsiders are invited in. LaValle, a classically-trained and prolific pianist and musician whose ambitious projects have involved San Diego's seminal ambient piano-rock outfit Tristeza, noise punks The Locust, the beat-driven GoGoGo Airheart and the gloomy, brooding epic-core group, Black Heart Procession, is one of the lucky elite.
LaValle has released critically-acclaimed solo work as The Album Leaf (the name comes from a Chopin piece) since 1999's mellow An Orchestrated Rise to Fall (Linkwork). The releases that followed bubble with moody, contemplative slow builds and Brian Eno-inspired compositional atmospherics. Structural drum and bass undertones ground and direct dreamscapes that are painted with varieties of organic instruments, making for sonic journeys that are as whimsical as they are epic. During the realization of 2003's Lifetime or More (Arena Rock) and Seal Beach (Acuarela) EPs, he prepared himself to take on a new direction by founding his rich, textural documents on minimalist beats. At the time of 2003's recording sessions, however, nothing could have prepared LaValle for the experience he had overseas.