All too often, creativity and the process of creation are reduced to easily digestible platitudes. With more tools and resources available than at any point in history, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that art is effortless, devoid of the bravery and introspection often required to produce something lasting and meaningful.
Broward artist Lucas Racine, however, is more than happy to expose his ongoing creative development for all to see. Last week saw the release of the 24-year-old musician’s latest EP, Shimei, courtesy of local Miami label Space Tapes. The title — a Japanese word that translates roughly to “to use one’s life” — refers to Racine’s appreciation for Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism. According to Racine, this adoption of the Eastern tradition allowed for a creative breakthrough.
“I began practicing Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism in April and that heavily impacted the sound of Shimei,” says Racine, who plays the III Points festival on Sunday. “The sound was affected by my newfound perception of life that Buddhism is opening my eyes to...I experimented with different mixing methods and post-production techniques in a wave of courage that I didn’t previously possess."
It was this very courage that led Racine to ditch an entirely different five track EP he had recorded before Shimei. The EP available now is simultaneously captivating and soothing, produced sparsely enough to induce calm in its listeners, but with enough going on to hold their attention across its four tracks.
Racine draws a lot of inspiration from artists such as Flying Lotus, Bibio, and Gold Panda, all of whom are noted for their atmospheric, experimental work. This influence can be heard particularly on Shimei’s second track, “Original Cause,” which pairs hip-hop percussion with angelic drones to great effect. Given his strong affection for Flying Lotus, Racine confesses that it’s his dream to some day release music on the experimental savant’s record label, Brainfeeder.
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“I had a sound bath last year [at III Points] after Flying Lotus disassociated me from reality, as he tends to do when experienced live,” Racine shares. “It was a ridiculously cleansing experience.”
Following in the footsteps of his hero, Racine will himself be performing at III Points this weekend, making an appearance on The White Dragon — the Teklife x Space Tapes stage showcasing artists from both labels – on Sunday. At the moment, it’s the only Lautlos gig Racine has booked for the remainder of the year. But with another EP in the works, he’s angling to perform more shows before its projected release in December.
“It’s going to be an entirely different vibe than Shimei; I’m always in the studio working on something or the other,” Racine divulges. “Within my [III Points] performance, the audience can expect to travel to dimensions and realms. They can expect to leave inspired and full of good energy and intention. Most importantly of all, they can expect to listen to some damn good metaphysical slappers.”