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Baku Llama Review

Date: 9/25/2007 Format: CD (Album) Baku Llama is a California-based trio releasing their debut album this fall. They have other releases to their name according to their MySpace page - but this release is what they themselves consider to be their first real release, according to the promotional info. Musically this trio seems to draw their influences from a lot of places. Many of the songs are structured in a way that makes me think that krautrock is a genre they are familiar with, whereas the guitar riffs in many songs are quite similar to what can be heard on Hawkwind's more psychedelic output in the 70's; slow, dark and at often gritty. Keyboards often have a jazzy feel to them, but are also used to create lush or symphonic atmospheres. The piano is used for more or less simple and often beautiful melody lines, but also for jazzy improvisations. Often in the same song. The overall soundscape in most songs here consists to a great extent of contrasts; beautiful melodies paired with dark and gritty sounds, repeated patterns paired with improvised playing. And the songs as such rarely have an average A4 development, the main thing on this release seems to be mood explorations, where a specific theme or mood is explored in as good as every detail. If I had to make a tag for this music, avant-garde fusion would probably be my best description, adding words like eerie, dark and dreamy to the tag. As for the songs here, they are a slightly mixed lot in my opinion. All the songs here have moments that really intrigued me, and most to the extent of me really liking them. What I see as the main weakness in some of the songs here, is that somewhat limited patterns and moods tend to get over-explored. The moods and patterns are interesting and intriguing; but after a certain amount of time there's really nothing else to explore, and these songs then get repetetive in my opinion. When the band gets it right though, as they do in most of the songs, the music is really captivating. My overall conclusion is that this is a good debut album. Fans of krautrock and fusion will perhaps be the ones who will easiest be attracted to this release, but I suspect that this music may have a much wider appeal as well. As the band has samples on their MySpace site, it should be easy to check out if you like this or not. OLAV BJORNSSEN

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Rick Baku Llama
  • Subtitle: Eris
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