Happy November, folks! For this month’s interview, I talked to a multi-instrument & multi-alias chipmusican & event curator friend of mine. This cat’s done quite a bit over the last handful of years (even more than I realized!), and shows no signs of stopping any time soon!
Welcome Lars Shurilla aka The Laohu/Immortan of SLC Chip!
Lars Shurilla aka The Laohu; photo by Neil Jarvie.
You might’ve heard of The Laohu through the grapevine, or via his track from ChipWIN: Volume 3, Bash of the Kaiju, or maybe you’ve just been a long-time fan of his since he started releasing music back in 2012. Regardless, it’s been almost three years since he last released an album through Bandcamp. In mid-March, he put out his latest musical endeavor through the Pxl-Bot label entitled ‘FROgs’, and the result is an eclectic mix of genres spanning progressive rock to electro. Without further ado, let’s take a look at The Laohu’s latest piece of work! (more…)
Hey guys, sorry we’re running a little late this week – but I’ll make up for it with a little change of pace next week. For right now, though, we’re looking at the one, the only, Lars Shurilla, better known as The Laohu!
Lars hails from the frozen lands of Wisconsin, but currently lives among the Glaswegians in Scotland. Presumably, when not chasing down fried Snickers bars with whisky and hunting wild haggis*, Lars is making music, as he has been for the last twelve years. His rig is pretty standard, running LSDJ on a good ol’ DMG, though he runs that through a nice Yamaha mixer and adds in guitar (an Epiphone Les Paul Custom, no less) with distortion and low-fi pedals. Also vocals – he sings, and has quite an impressive range (I found myself several times envying his falsetto, or wondering if it truly was falsetto or just a ridiculously high normal range). Speaking of…
Off of his first album, we get this fantastic Ben Folds cover. This basically combines all of my favorite things about chiptunes: It covers a song that I really like; it sounds awesome; and it is executed flawlessly. The aforementioned ridiculous high range of Lars’ voice comes in to play here. But hey, this should be focusing more on his original work, right? Covers are great, but you probably want some original content, right? Well, as it happens, Lars has one other cool talent…
He’s fluent in Chinese! Specifically Mandarin. This track is actually on the album in English and Chinese, but I’ve always been a fan of listening to songs in languages I don’t understand, because then the voice just becomes another instrument. You aren’t thinking about and getting caught up on the meaning behind the words, you just hear the voice as another sound layering onto the track. If you go listen to it in English, though (or if you do happen to be cool enough to understand Mandarin Chinese), it’s actually a really touching love song.
Our final track here is the last track on the album released the day the world “ended” – December 21st, 2012. I’m a big fan of songs that involve multiple parts moving at different speeds – it always makes me think of the song as a machine, with different cogs rotating at different speeds to make it work.
In other news on The Laohu, he performed live in Glasgow with a number of other folks in February (not the least of which being someone you might recognize) – here’s a link to the recording. There’s an artist breakdown of who plays when. And in bigger, non-musical news, as of sometime this month, in addition to his accomplishments of “Having The Most Badass Real Life Name,” “Being A Dashing Chiptune Gentleman,” and “Is Better At Chinese Than Probably Most Other People In Glasgow,” we can add “Proud Father!” Congratulations, man!
Hyperlink to The Laohu stuff below. Stay frosty, kids.
*Remember, these are just stereotypes about the Scottish. They’re usually hilariously wrong. If you’d like to know more about misrepresentations of the Scottish people, let me know! I’m actually writing a paper on that this semester as my senior thesis. Also, haggis is not an animal.