Your first impression of Lau may be of pretty traditional folk music, but they’re an adventurous bunch who are keen to explore the boundaries of their music. After their last full album Arc Light in 2009, they’ve embarked on a project to record three EPs with different people, showcasing different influences of their sound. The first, recorded with Karine Polwart came out last year and is now sold out. The next is the Ghosts EP, this excellent collaboration with Adem, who may be known for his own folky solo work, but who also dabbles in electronic beats alongside The Pictish Trail in Silver Columns (not forgetting his previous incarnation as Fridge, with Kieran Hebden).
The results are a wonderfully mesmerising seven tracks, born out of time spent playing together in Adem’s Hackney studio. A lot of it sounds improvised, the sound of people just enjoying seeing where their musical inclinations take them (let’s not use the word ‘jam’ please). It’s not what you might immediately expect the sound of a collaboration between these two sets of artists to produce, and it’s greater than (or at least different to) the sum of their parts. Who would have thought that Lau may end up sounding like something closer to Sunburned Hand of the Man? Happily marooned amidst all this freeform stuff, is the title track, almost a proper folk song sung by Kris Drever. But the pick of the bunch is ‘Imporsa’, which almost becomes a tribal drumming frenzy across its eight minutes. So it’s no surprise then that this is the tune that Adem has chosen to remix with his Silver Columns hat on. It’s another triumph.
Buy Ghosts direct from Lau.
Lau Vs Adem - Imporsa (Silver Columns remix) by Stayloose