Label: Just Music Release date: 06/09/10 Link: Myspace Buy: Amazon There's something of the fairground about Laki Mera. You want to believe that behind the rattling and the instability there's a good set of solid foundations holding everything together, but all the while there's a little voice in the back of your mind telling you there's nothing more than half a dozen rivets (barely) stopping you from plunging to certain death from the Sidewinder. The aptly named Clutter, also the title of the band's 2008 download-only album, is a collection of the band's favourite material thus far; arguably a greatest hits EP of sorts. It serves as a suitably tantalising showcase of this Glaswegian foursome's skill in producing somewhat chaotic and unsettling pieces of music. Drawing heavily from trip-hop and ambient electronica influences, Laki Mera craft carefully ordered and simultaneously shambolic soundscapes. Opener 'She's A Day Later' combines dreamy female vocals and sinister driving bass hooks with rattling sound effects and melodic string sections. Over the course of the track, each individual part drifts separately to the forefront of the music, so that what results is not necessarily a song, but more like an arrangement, where the vocals themselves form part of the instrumentation. What follows, 'How Dare You?', possibly the EP's highlight, is a Portishead-esque lament, tidier in its composition but still with a vaguely unsettling element somewhere between the looped background vocals and synth bass. Laki Mera's greatest strength lies in the unexpected, such as when 'Zeuhl' descends from string and choral led harmony into audio anarchy; reverb, chanting, rattling dustbin lids and all. The contrast of the pure child-like vocals, restrained by overtly simplified melodies, and the complicated and discomfiting music, layered and looped to produce something truly arresting, is stark throughout the EP. Just as you end a trip to the fairground both vaguely shaken and exhilarated, Clutter is a whirlwind listen that leaves you wanting more. Photobucket