Lucian Blomkamp's third album Sick Of What I Don’t Understand – to be released over the next part year in a series of movements – is themed around difficult transformations and self-realisation. Almost a commentary on itself, it's a documenting of the processes he went through to break out from his previous accomplished but limited incarnation to the new levels of ambition and confidence he shows as a musician now. Just in the first movement alone, even though it has a claustrophobic, trapped aesthetic, you can hear exactly how far he has branched out: from the Massive Attack-like “Crawling” to the fearsome drones and rolling rhythm of the title track, from the mutant pop of “Nothing” with Rromarin's alien vocals to the dreamlike reimagining of UK bass music “Still No” featuring the dark poetry of MC legend Trim. These tracks have seen a new generation of Lucian fans appear, with support from the likes of BBC1, Pigeons & Planes, Line of Best Fit and Hypebeast.
The title – Sick of What I Don't Understand – means many things, but in part alludes to the frustration of wanting to reach outside one's own comfort zone. SOWIDU is not a piece of musical theatre, mind, nor is it just self-analysis: it is a fully-functioning album in its own right, and many of the expressions of the themes are subtle and metaphorical. But its central message is instantly audible, as you hear Lucian unfolding and expanding as a composer and performer, on a record dramatically different from the intimate, hazy electronica of its predecessors.
This is not the first radical transformation in Lucian's life, though. Indeed change has been the only constant for him since he can remember. He grew up around Cape Town, South Africa, moving often, his life revolving around the violin which he learned – at his own insistence – from the age of six. In fact it was the violin that would take him across the world to his adopted home at 13 – the chance to study music was a big part of the move to Melbourne. But as soon as he got there, his horizons broadened in other ways. "Aside from classical," he says, "I was just a complete blank canvas of a person as far as musical and artistic tastes go. I knew the hits, I guess, but I just wasn't drawn to it. Moving to Australia opened my eyes in a million different ways. My girlfriend now was the first person I ever met in Australia, and the music she listened to I had no idea existed." As his circle of friends grew, and he started to feel settled, so his tastes grew, and he began to inhale all kinds of songwriter, experimental and electronic music.