Album Review

Lama – “Oneiros” – [Clean Feed]

Thurston Hunger   3/27/2014   CD, Jazz

One of my favorites of a purchase from the fantastic Clean Feed
label that got lost in the KFJC shuffle for a spell.(Yes, still
hoping the Cleaners will Feed us future promo.) This is a killer
release. A three piece led by Susana Santos Silva, her use of
electronics in addition to her trumpet work is just about pitch
perfect. Somewhat reminscent of the Chicago Underground work of
Mazurek/Taylor+, Lama add perfect amounts of digital spice and
analog grit to their pieces. Double bassist Goncalo Almeida also
brings some circuit bending to the mix, and I can really see a
lot of the eclectic electronic DJ’s using these pieces to mix
things up. “Alguidar” starts off with crackle and glitch, like
old vinyl or new Raster Norton. Pieces like “Overture for
Penguins” start out dark, but work through to effervescence.
Silva darting in high, but then get low and wild like a
digeridoo as Almeida rebuilds the cycle of a bassline.
“Tarantino” is a dark sort of FSOL flavored ambient jazztronic
landscape. Greg Smith is the percussionist here, he can be a
cool rider on the cymbals and hi-hat, as on “Dr. No” which has
some mighty mute from Silva. On the title track, Smith pretty
much melodically rolls the piece all the way through, with
perfect bass sync from Almeida and Silva arcs a melody atop it
all. Very minimal electronics on that, but perfectly placed.
Like Toshinori Kondo’s work, there’s a spark to this that’s
going to light up a lot of ears. Do not miss.

-Thurston Hunger

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