Loka: Passing Place

loka, passing place, ninja tuneLoka: Passing Place
In sanskrit, “loka” is the word for “world.” In music, Loka is a small marching band like ensemble that records experimental music on the legendary London label, Ninja Tune.
The term experimental is broad but to narrow it down does not give Loka justice. Started as a studio experiment between Mark Kyriacou and Karl Webb, the group now boasts a complete horn section along with more conventional instruments like bass, guitar, and drums. Because of their make up, the group has the versatility to experiment in the realms of jazz, classical, psychedelia, and others. Take the opening track, “As the Tower Falls” for example. The track is nearly seven minutes and cover a multitude of genres. It begins with spoken word over dissonant keyboards before drums kick in and horns enter. As the track wears on, crunchy electric guitar enters the mix. At first, it sounds like a jazz club is being invaded by metal being blasted from a car stopped at a red light outside but as the song continues on, the heavier elements take over. The song quickly become chaotic until it crescendos then the last minute of the track is spent with a classical piano cool down period.
If it sounds complex, that’s because it is but that seems to be the trademark of Loka. Passing Place is not the kind of album you can put on in the background and forget about. If you do that, you are sure to miss it. This is the type of album that must be really study to “get it.” It is a crap shoot how many people will actually care to do that, but those that do should find it quite rewarding.
Rating: 7.3/10
MP3: Loka “As the Tower Falls”
Buy: iTunes or Insound!