The Lay Llamas – The Lay Llamas (Backwards Records)

Reissue of the band's 2012 debut release, a busy day for the ears across a digital landscape

Released Apr 12th, 2016 via Backwards Records / By Ian Stanley
The Lay Llamas – The Lay Llamas (Backwards Records) The precursor to The Lay Llamas debut LP, Ostro (review), their first EP a notably different beast compared to the album. From the very start of this self-titled EP the band scrapes sounds from a superspace of digital and natural sounds. At times it is like being trapped inside a computer hard drive.

At its core Ostro is a straight up psychedelic album, laced with bass grooves and cool vocals, this earlier offering is a stranger, more experimental listen. With layer upon layer of sounds collected from all over the place this requires a bit of time to listen in properly. For a start, each song is considerably lengthier than on Ostro. The final track of the album kicks in at more than 10 minutes while the shorter songs still meander through seven minutes. One particular one uses birdsong combined with maracas to coast slowly towards and ending of chiming clocks.

There has clearly been a lot of time spent moving samples together. Just as much as there has been sourcing those samples in the first place. Each song moves into another with small blips and pops the effect is almost hypnotic. There so much to listen to that it creates a busy day for the ears across a digital landscape. Even the third track in line, which has some vocal to it, is twisted with sitar reverting back to a more traditional psychedelia.

The space soon shifts back to a feedback driven song to close down the album. Parts of distortion and bassnotes fall from wherever Lay Llamas originally plucked them from and spin into a whirlwind of noise and constantly growing samples of feedback.

Throughout the disc Lay Llamas have toy and tweak with a range of samples from all over the place. The area that they are headed for is similar to that of Guardian Alien – slightly mad with interesting chunks. When it works it is hypnotic, and should probably be picked apart by the ears. Either way, this latest collection from Lay Llamas needs some time with a good pair of headphones and very little else to concentrate on to be appreciated.