Loka - 'Passing Place' Out Now
With many acts finding considerable critical acclaim in the music world right now through adventures in the outer reaches of psychedelia/jazz/classical, it's worth remembering that Loka have been ploughing this field with stunning results ever since their debut track on Ninja Tune's 10th birthday compilation Xen Cuts in 2000, when they emerged from the same fertile alt-Liverpool scene as Pop Levi, Zukanican and Super Numeri.
Since their debut album Fire Shepherds in 2006, co-founder Karl Webb left the band, leaving Mark Kyriacou to carry the Loka banner. Mark re-grouped with members of the live Loka band (Tom Sumnall – bass, Ged Hawksworth – drums, Catherine Norman – keyboards and Ray Dickaty - sax) and went about sketching out ideas later to become Passing Place.
The result is their most confident and cinematic album yet. Less claustrophobic and inward than before, the new album has a wide-screen, rolling hills vista feel to it, perhaps most beautifully realised with Anglesey’s brass ensemble Seindorf Beaumaris Band on instrumental tracks such as "The Art Of Burning Bridges", "Exit" and "Sound Stars Make". There is a lot of top-level musicianship on show on "Passing Place", take the section "As The Tower Falls" and "The Tower", which share a certain jazz/rock high-energy propulsion with that of label-mates Jaga Jazzist, and shows Loka can do varying tempos effectively during the course a full-length. It is an album seeped in reflection, but containing a wide-eyed thinking of the days to come. Welcome back to the timeless world of Loka.