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Shattered Dreams


Joey LaBeija has earned himself the reputation of an underground club music deity in his native New York City. The Bronx-bred producer and DJ is revered for his rhythmic assaults on sound systems, combining a celebration of his Puerto Rican heritage (e.g. Big Pun and Wisin & Yandel) with his love for the more extreme and experimental corners of electronic music (from Björk to friends Rabit and Lotic). As a fourth-generation House of LaBeija emissary, Joey LaBeija is not so interested in plainly referencing the traditional sound of ballroom and vogue, but instead seeks out new pathways to further immerse listeners into his personal experience. Shattered Dreams, LaBeija's full-length debut, marks a bold step forward in this artistic inquiry. The listener hears LaBeija pouring his darkest time as an adult into the music, drawing upon a single year full of life losses amid the walls of an unforgiving metropolis. From start to finish, it is a story told through the sprawl of daydreamt melodies, amorphous noise resembling the multi-appendage-clatter of insects, and tattered beds of abrasive percussion. Much like his style of playing live, there is no single set genre as Shattered Dreams winds forward; instead LaBeija mines various stylistic cues -- the upbeat stutter step of Timbaland or that of grime ("Over" and "Joey's Inferno"), for instance -- until revealing the tender, reverberating echoes of sounds unfound beneath the breaking sediment. This album is a hard barrel roll left, away from LaBeija well secured club stature. It is an intrepid dive into the pain of the mind. While Shattered Dreams was debuted by The FADER as a stream-only mix in August 2015, after which it appeared in FACT's "The 25 best albums of the last three months" list in October 2015 and received high praise in Mixmag's November 2015 issue, Purple Tape Pedigree now presents the album as an LP, with tracks split and re-touched to the utmost dynamic clarity by the masterful Rashad Becker.