The Lab Experiment is an innovative collaborative effort between well-known, local producer, Brandon Birchbauer (The LMNtlyst) and emcee, Adam James (Phantom Channel) of Milwaukee Hip-Hop stalwart, Rusty Ps. The super duo released their first album on Friday, December 19, 2009 entitled The Lab Experiment "Lab Partners"
Feeling stifled by the traditional sample heavy rap format most music fans have grown accustomed to hearing, James and Birchbauer, staples of Milwaukee’s Hip-Hop scene for the past 15 years, wanted to branch out and experiment more with live instrumentation.
Initially the project was nothing more than a creative outlet for the two veteran musicians, who had no real expectations or ideas of what they would do with the recorded material. Informal production meetings in Birchbauer’s apartment transitioned into intense recording sessions at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music with the two collaborating with other local musicians including trumpeter Eric Jacobson of De La Buena.
James focused on drumming and vocals, while Birchbauer played guitar, bass, keyboard, melodica, and the xylophone, in addition to handling all of the engineering duties.
Known as a dynamic performer and revered lyricist, James went through a creative metamorphosis during the project, experimenting with various styles of vocal delivery and rhythmic cadence. Meshing melodic rapping with alt-soul harmonizing to create a sound reminiscent of Hip-Hop/alternative rock group Gorillaz, James tried to stay true to his Hip-Hop roots while exploring new creative territory.
After more than five months recording over 180 songs, the group has crafted a genre bending fusion of funk based experimental Hip-Hop. There are no samples, the duo opting instead to use only live instrumentation and computer manipulated sounds.
Lmntlyt guitar, bass, keyboard, melodica, and the xylophone, in addition to handling all of the engineering duties. Phantom Channel is the Emcee and drummer of this diverse sound experiment.
Lab Experiment released 2010