Lee Bannon, real name unknown, is a recluse. He is believed to be based out of the Sacramento area but born somewhere in the south. An anonymous source claiming to be a childhood friend of the producer describes his early forays into music, “When we were like 13 or 14, he got this Korg beat machine thing as a birthday present.
We turned this old playhouse he had in his backyard into a little makeshift studio and he would make beats in there. This was around the time we were first hearing Madlib, MF Doom and Dilated Peoples.” Lee later met local DJ Alvin D who encouraged and mentored the producer further. Utilizing his connections, DJ Alvin D introduced Lee to a number of artists which in turn eventually led to beat placements with artists like Planet Asia, Talib Kweli and others.
Earlier this year, the offices of Plug Research received a mysterious package from Lee Bannon. Inside was a CD-R with a note written on it, “this is my Fantastic Plastic LP. you wanna put it out?” The music was a grimy journey through beats that brought to mind Madlib and early Flying Lotus. The indie label agreed to release the record. “This Fantastic Plastic project that I’m doing with Plug, it’s a producer album for the heads,” says Lee in a rare public statement via phone call. “I don’t see the radio masses getting it. It’s really, really dirty and I like that. It’s almost my ambient record.”
When asked about the title of the record, Lee explained, “think about everything in your life that is plastic. Even my deodorant has plastic, the headphones I’m using to engineer music has plastic, all my keyboards are plastic, I open a plastic bag to get my chips. Fantastic Plastic represents a world ruled by plastic. That’s it.”