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Lay Llamas operate out of Italy, where they busily combine all their favourite genres into one thick, heady brew. Space-synth atmospheres slide into furiously powered psychedelic afrobeat. Space Jungle Mantra captures the band in full flow at London’s Roundhouse, supporting Goat: sounds like a fun show!

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Space Jungle Mantra by Lay Llamas
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6/10 Robin Staff review, 24 June 2015

Nature-obsessed psychsters Lay Llamas toured with Goat in the least surprising band trivia ever, and the result was ‘Space Jungle Mantra’, a live performance from London's Roundhouse that shows off all that is essential to the band: big, pondering psych backdrops, organically grown rhythms and spontaneous big finishes. If it wasn’t obvious from the meandering ‘Ostro’, then it should be now: Lay Llamas are just surveying the land.

It might take you a few good minutes to realise this is a live record, considering that Lay Llamas are suited to big, open acoustics much in the fashion of Eternal Tapestry. The slithering “Spiritual Expedition” opens up to the crowd after a good six minutes of hand drums, scoped-out guitars and brooding bass riffing, eventually submitting to whispering, gasping noise that leads the band into singsong. Here, you can finally hear them playing to a crowd: the vocals travelling far away, like they’re coming from up on high.

Lay Llamas aren’t the most fascinating psych band. They integrate electronics and acoustics into a scene of distorted restraint, and the results are never intensely climactic -- rather, the ascendence is weighted to its build-up, which is muted and strictly minimal. A live setting, however, is the place to see them -- if only because they’re suited to acoustics that elevate them, that make them sound like a wee part of a giant ecosystem.


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