Wise Blood was poised for a huge splash in 2011—the beginnings of his musical career already heralded by Pitchfork, The Fader, Stereogum and more—until the artist responsible for meditative and melodic tours-de-force just kind of disappeared. Pittsburgh-based vocalist and producer Christopher Laufman, aka Wise Blood, wasn't performing live or releasing new music, instead pursuing "schemes" that caught him up in some legal trouble. He also recorded a debut full-length, only to scrap the entire thing.
"I was making music but I lost my spine and my discipline, which was my cardinal sin," Laufman says. "I was acting stupid, per usual, but even stupider."
Out of the stupidity—and after conversations with those who care about Laufman and his immense talents—came a scheme of more sensical sorts: a Wise Blood full-length worth sharing with the world. To be released by Dovecote Records on June 25, 2013, "id" is the result of Laufman simultaneously rediscovering his creative discipline and letting loose of expectations he thought others might be putting on his music.
"I initially called it 'I.D.' but when I lowercased it, I thought 'id' looked cool. Then when I thought about it, it made sense and applies to everything I was thinking about—or not thinking about—when making the record. It's a snapshot of thoughts and experiences from a three month period in 2012 played out in a single day." Laufman says of the album's instinctual creation and title, "People can call it "id" or "I.D." though, whatever feels right for them."
Which works because so much of "id" feels exactly right. Co-produced and mixed by Nicolas Vernhes (Black Dice, Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors, and more), the album moves through gorgeous pop melodies and aggressive atmospheric changes with a deft confidence in adventurous production. "Nicolas has such a talent for making noise manageable and more digestible by mixing it right. He was able to give the record some clarity while accentuating all the clutter."
Inspired by the idea of creating a self-contained sonic universe to inhabit and a love for those who have created theirs—from Miami rapper/producer SpaceGhostPurrp and London electronic artist Zomby to more household names like Skrillex and Hit-Boy—Wise Blood charged headfirst into the challenge of trying to one-up his favorite producers. Musicians around the world, working in insular crews to create new self-made sounds, made it "impossible not to be excited about what's going on now and feeding off it," he says. "It feels competitive in a good way, and I'm very competitive."