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REVIEW: Luo – Lapiz Lazuli EP

Posted on Thursday, 10 April by

Luo - Lapis Lazuli

SQ 3.5 Stars

I remember when I first saw Luo before I knew who they were. They were supporting experimental guitar-drummers Ex-Easter Island Head with their glitchy approach to electronic music.

As I stood there soaking in the vibes, two burly bald men in front me shouted over the delicately constructed sounds with their coarse cry: “There’s no beginning, middle or end.” So really then, these weren’t men at all but toddlers who needed their hands held by a matriarchal figure to lead them down a clearly sign-posted path – “you have reached the end of this song”.

Despite the disapproval of some, Luo have now released their fourth EP Lapis Lazuli. It opens with the percussion-heavy ‘Nocturnal’ which highlight’s Luo’s penchant for warping beats beneath layers of delicate textures. For many, it’s not quite atmospheric enough, especially compared to their previous material. But that’s quickly rectified with ‘Hourglass’. Of course, the trademark glitchiness remains but the layers come together with more ambiance and you’re given space to soak it all up due to the patient arrangements.

The EP culminates with the title track where textures radiate as vividly as the rock it’s named after. But throughout the EP, you’re left wandering around sparse soundscapes with no direction. There’s nothing to see and no summit to climb, just a desolate world to explore without some patronising tour guide telling you where to go.

Listen to ‘Lapiz Lazuli’ on the player above.

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Matt Yau

Matt Yau

Showcase Critic at SQ Magazine
Freelance music journalist with a reputation in Sussex for uncovering new music. Has led SQ Magazine's 'Showcase' since 2013. Obsessive thinker, habitual music listener and timid photographer.
Matt Yau

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