By Phoenix Bain (Host of Sounds in the Attic Tuesday 9:00-10:30PM)
Solo artists OKPK (Dan Godlovitch) and Olav (Colin Liseth) are Laggards; silent pillars in the Victoria electronic music scene, encapsulating and bringing forth the weird, unusual, and the ground breaking. Laggards seek to not take anything seriously, including themselves. Their sophomore EP, SoFeels, their most accessible yet finest work to date, greets you with a cover mimicking velvet and a pair of gold flip-flops. They lag behind your ears and pulsating every move with obscure R & B samples and epic club feels. They open every show with a contagious energy and a tag line, “Fuck Laggards.”
“I feel like people are getting used to the fact that we’re around, but not really sure what to do with us,” says Dan Godlovitch. Laggards single, “Heart Talk” is the duo in full form. It’s the track we’ve all been waiting for. Their process has become a formula showing off their strengths, but how do they bring it all together? Dan tells me I need to hear the “famous” lobster analogy,
“For readers unfamiliar with our work, you’ll hear a lot of producers out there jacking R. Kelly samples or Rihanna samples or Janet Jackson samples and chances are that unless they’re just terrible at making sounds, whatever they come up with is going to be good. It’s kind of like cooking with grass-fed Kobe beef. It’s really hard to make R. Kelly sound bad. You can just make club hit after club hit with just the tiniest sample from R. Kelly. Laggards take a different approach. In New York in the 19th century, lobsters were considered pauper food because they fed on garbage, and you could catch them for free in the river. Now, times have changed for our red friends. We find the lobsters of the future in sample form.”
From Savage Garden to Chris Martin, Laggards seek to experiment out of the bounds of any electronic music genre. In a world of digital media, with any amount of music available at your fingertips, the technology to make that music is just as simple to come across.
“I think we’ve shifted so far in electronic music culture that you can’t put yourself in any particular spot anymore. People don’t really care anymore. I mean, anybody can get up in the morning and turn on Ableton and make a house track. Everybody does it. So, how do you separate yourself from every bedroom producer and garbage DJ out there?”
It is clear Laggards in itself is a persona adopted by the two of them that doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. “Our brand is surprisingly resilient. I can’t say that I expected it to hang together. I wasn’t particularly surprised that we could make excellent music, but I did not realize that I would be clinging for dear life to the sides of the Laggards juggernaut… We want it to be difficult, but also fun,” says Liseth. “I hope we’re not making it easy on people. In fact, we mean not to… We’re like the [puzzle] piece you leave to the end.”