is Lay Llamas
5th album and their second for Rocket Recordings
, after 2014’s Østrø
(the Arabic for ‘snake’) is named after the star closest to the North pole from the fourth to the second millennium BC, just so you know!
The album begins with Eye-Chest People’s Dance Ritual
with a loose drum-driven track, overlayed by a lush, spacy vocals driving the melody and an african style guitar break in the centre. There’s someting of the way Karl Hyde (Underworld) treats his vocals that makes me think a Lay Llamas/Underworld collaboration would yield some interesting results.
came out a a single in April this year and has a killer afrobeat rhythm, with retro synths and a phat funky jazz bass. Silver Sun
was another single that made it onto the album. It starts like a satellite breaking up on re-entry, and then morphs into a heavy pounding bass/drums combo with a crazy sax solo over the top.
There are three collaborations on this album; Cults and Rites From The Black Cliff
features Clinic with tribal drumming and swirling synths. Altair
also came out as a single in May and features Goatshee from label mates Goat. There’s something of a 1960’s vocal vibe to this track, amplified by fuzzy guitar effects and 60’s keyboards. Fight Fire With Fire
features Mark Stewart (from the Pop Group) delivering a dystopian monologue over a funky afrobeat and 60’s keyboards.
The remaining two tracks are much more meditative and down-tempo in their scope. Definitely something for the earbuds.
All, in all this album really shows off it’s African roots and 60’s influences to perfection. It reminds me a little of Talking Head’s Remain in Light, with subtle, repetitive beats, layered vocals and contemplative moods. Highly recommended.