Baku Llama — Eris
(57 Records B113, 2007, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-01-01Eris is the debut release by this Southern California based trio, oft given to systematic discoveries in the rockier terrains of what one might call soundtrack music. Their vision is rooted in explorative rock, informed by elements of jazz, dark ethereal pop, west-coast folk rock (especially on the vocal tracks featuring Ann Bernath), and a mildly psychedelic vision that imbues their sound at times. At the elemental level, we have a most prominent voice for piano, supported by other keyboards, vibes, electric bass, electric and acoustic guitars, and drums. It’s mostly instrumental, although where vocals do appear (sometimes sung, sometimes spoken, or in a background supporting role) they definitely make their mark. A strong improvisational spirit permeates many of the tracks (“Six to Midnight” and the nine-minute “Side Two” are the standouts in this regard), and keyboardist Rick Whitehurst mixes his ideas in well over the heavier fuzz-laden guitar sounds of David Bernath. In general, though, there is a bit of a dark and mystical spirit afire here, and a strong helping of introspection as well. One might occasionally be reminded of some key elements of Pink Floyd in their heady soundtrack period (More, Zabriskie Point, even Ummagumma) but without all the overt psychedelic sorties; or even the more dark, diffuse work of bands like Djam Karet and Edhels, although with Baku Llama, the guitars tend to play more of a support role. All taken, this is an impressive debut.
Related artist(s): Baku Llama
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more