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
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more