Lewis Mellor, otherwise known as Kalaux, is a Leeds based DJ who began his music journey long back in 2012. For the past 3 years he has been hiding away, working under his own personal scrutiny, going through “3 years of disregarding hundreds of tracks” to reach a certain production where now feels most himself.
“Shangri-La”, his EP, is out on the 10th of September and is a 5-track soundful rollercoaster. The EP can be translated as a dichotomy between the “dark dangers of getting lost in escapism due to addiction or dependencies”, versus the light side of escapism, one we should hope to embrace, based on the concept of far-away, fictional paradises.
Find Serenus on our playlist
Describing his own genre, Kalaux would be a “mixture of electronica, wonky beats and aggressive funk”. Emerging through his new EP are the sounds of his main influences; Photay, Bonobo, Werkha, Lapalux and Sam Gelliatry. Kalaux has also always been big on Jazz and world music, which is clearly identifiable in the fourth track on “Shangri-La”, Šerenus, and always strives to incorporate these influences into his music production.
Shangri-La, the title of his EP, is a fictional place from Lost Horizon, a 1993 novel by James Hilton. What drew Kalaux to labelling it after this described earthly paradise was most prominently “the cultural contrasts of escapism and the way in which neighbouring societies achieve their unique, alternative reality through different means; whether that be through social media, movies, games, drugs or sports.”
Shangri-La Ft. Jed Holland takes us away to a far away land in its own right, but adding to our sensory experience of the song is the accompanying music video by Endless City. Kalaux had a lot of creative input into the video, wanting to fully capture the essence of the song. Endless City came to him with a concept that perfectly encapsulated the meaning behind the track – lostness. Quick cuts and psychadelic backdrops across Donald Trump, gameshows and football games all represent the variety of things in life that we become disorientated by, for better or for worse.
Lewis Mellor didn’t always produce under his current alias, he was known as Blindsight before. His taste and style back then was “anything and everything” and “certainly more commercial”, but his aspirations soon changed as he aspired to create something new altogether, instead of following any particular genre or trend. Kalaux has certainly achieved that in “Shangri-La”, and quickly after creating his new alias, had no struggle with becoming known in the local Leeds scene for his energetic and unique DJ sets. Getting a support slot for Solection artist “Sivey” highlighted the debut for Kalaux and he has been excelling ever since.
Lewis is currently focusing on his next releases and curating a live show which will continue to be his main goal for 2020, which we can all be very excited about. Gathering more DJ material together, he will be appearing on a KMAH Radio show very soon and playing The 212 Café and Bar on 12th September, so be sure to catch him there.
Words by Zoe Hapeshi