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
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more