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Lay Llamas is Nicola Giunta and Gioele Valenti, a duo who label their sound as 'afro-space-psych', according to the group's Facebook page. When I hear a band add in the word 'space' to their defining sound, what I expect is whistling abnormalities, creeping white-noise, and hidden vocal melodies offering up delicate hooks. What makes Lay Llamas worth listening to is their unique twists they add to their hypnotic sound. Ostro is a record filled with confidence, and the payoff is a richly identified sound that never feels anything less than fully-formed.

In the UK the record is being released by Rocket Recordings, a label with 405 favourites Teeth of the Sea and Goat among their roster. They are fitting label-mates, but whilst Lay Llamas have the ability to fit into a broader 'world-sound', their bucking of certain tropes, and remaining consistent with it, offer up something more exciting than perhaps could have been otherwise. The biggest comparison I could offer up would be a band like Pinkunoizu, another group not afraid to opening up the melting-pot to whatever takes their fancy.

The album starts with 'Ancient People of the Stars', and it does a wonderful job of introducing you to this world which Lay Llamas vividly bring to life. It starts with these swirling, glitched-out chiptune, before delving into this pulsating, tribal rhythm. It really does show you the span of Lay Llamas reach, which appears to be huge. From there on out, you get tastes of a lot of different flavours.

'We Are You' and 'In Search of Plants' are sexy, dirty, sweaty tracks. 'We Are You' is your more ten minute marathon, 'In Search of Plants' your ten-hour tantric decathlon, but they both have this swelling and meandering in just the right places that force your attention regardless. There are the more experimental tracks, although, oddly enough, they are the shortest tracks on the record, those being 'The Lay Llamas' and 'Overmind'. So whilst they do ramp up on the weirdness, it's incredibly reined in, and well judged. 'Desert of Lost Souls' is full of psychedelic warmth, showing the varied tools Lay Llamas have at their belt. 'Voices Call', the last track, tucks you under its wing as it evokes a blazing hot sun beating down on a tent with oddly smelling smoke coming out from the zipper. 'Voices Call' is perhaps the record's greatest achievement, bringing together all the strands glimpsed in other tracks into one final closing number.

Ostro is a very good album, and it's one that sticks with you the more you let it. It's not an album you have to work hard to understand, it's one that tunnels itself under your skin the more you have it around. Most importantly, this does not sound like a debut record, it sounds like a record made by a group completely on the top of their game, a group who get every aspect of the world they're trying to inhabit. One thing's for sure, it's a funner world with Lay Llamas in it.

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