Gus Fairbairn, aka Alabaster DePlume, has a pocketful of phrases that he uses all the time whether he’s walking down the street or holding court with musicians and an audience. For a long time the Mancunian would tell anyone who’d listen that they were doing very well. More recently, it’s another phrase which has a similar effect and which belies his unwavering commitment to personal vulnerability and collective politics: “Don’t forget you’re precious.”
A process that is people-first not product-first ensures that the music is unique; often gem-like. Alabaster DePlume’s songs are built on sonorous circular melodies and luminous tones that transmit calmness and generosity in warm waves – unless they’re raging against complacency and the everyday inhumanity of end times capitalism. Most importantly, he brings a valuable transparency to his work. “This is what I’m really doing,” he says. “I want to talk about why I’m doing this, and how I’m doing this.
“[DePlume] delivers a serene reminder of what matters most” – Pitchfork
“DePlume is a fixture on the London avant-jazz scene whose greatest value is openness” – NPR
“He’s a garrulous, heart-on-sleeve rabble-rouser, an anti-cynic keen to reduce the fourth wall to rubble.” – The Observer
“An incredibly unique record. Every second of the precious hour and seven minutes is dedicated to vulnerability and collective politics” – CLASH