Lakuna – Castle Of Crime

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Album Review by Mark Bayross

Lakuna is the new project from former Throwing Muses drummer David Narcizo. Like his former band, the music here is quirky, edgy and pretty original. The mood of the album could be described as “Sabres of Paradise unplugged” – it has that same dark, cinematic feel, but with a more organic sound.

This is best illustrated by track three, THE VEIL, where a snake-charmer motif is intertwined with menacing dub bass, vocal samples and layers of tension-building strings. The effect conjures up images of assassins plotting by night in the squares of Marrakech, or something.

Naturally most of the songs are built around the thumping drums, which at times swell up into a rhythmic tour de force (see ON THE FLOOR or the superb SO HAPPY). ST PAUL’S PIANO, by way of contrast, is a jazzy, late night meander with a 70s vibe, all bar-room piano and distant radio noise. VEGA has an even more organic feel to it, with the fuzzy static of a crackling record vinyl running through the whole piece.

PLANET NO 3 even has a very Sabres of Paradise-style skidding car sample, but builds into a rhythm of almost Tom Waits-like randomness. The closing THE VERY NEXT DAY is a rather pretty strings, guitar and piano piece, laden with spacey rainforest noises which lend it more of a Future Sound of London feel. Unfortunately, it fades out all to soon.

…And that is my only criticism of this album: it’s too short. It’s all very enjoyable and I would have liked to hear more of what Narcizo has to offer. I guess I’ll have to wait for the next one.

5 stars