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    Friends In Faraway Places
    La Douleur Exquise / Looking Like Lions / Generalife / Plage Lodo / What's Odd About Chess / Latin / The Daa Daa Shuffle / Sinbad / Theme Flamboyant / Pastoral / All Jam No Bread

    Laroca present us with a mix of live instrumentation and dance beats perfect for a summers day. A heady mix of blissful chillout, a hint of Latin, Asian and other exotic themes. This wide range of flavours provides interest, colouring the well constructed, carefully layered mix of beats and live instrumentation underneath. Sensibly for a debut, Laroca set their stall out early. Following the brief 'La Douleur Exquise', the superb 'Looking For Lions' really captures the imagination. Vocals pop up, wordless hints of the East. Flute passages decorate a musical backing with plenty going on, yet it never sounds fussy. 'Looking Like Lions' is a genuinely impressive piece, something you would expect to turn up in the soundtrack to a Hollywood film. This high standard continues with 'Generalife', a soothing track with just enough going on. A very nice melody forms the bedrock to the tune. Taken together, 'Looking Like Lions' and 'Generalife' provide a very good indication of what we can expect from 'Friends In Faraway Places' in general. It's a good title for the album, incidentally, from beginning to end it sounds like a journey and gets the visual imagination going. Very picturesque music with the detail to make the scenes come alive. Another highlight during the first half of the record is the Hip-Hop based, complete with effective rap sections, 'What's Odd About Chess'. Very cool bass lines, decent stuff.

    'The Daa Daa Shuffle' is a song i'll be picking out as a highlight too, actually. If you can imagine a chillout, beats based version of Jethro Tull fit for the sand, sea and sun rather than the cold British countryside, you'll have some kind of idea. A strange idea, probably. Let's just imagine the flute from Jethro Tull lilting and floating away over an extremely effective, mid-tempo beats filled backing. That's better! 'Theme Flamboyant' returns the album to cinematic soundtrack territory, the closing 'All Jam And Bread' ( great song title! ) vibrates to another deeply cool, blissful bass line. I like decent bass-lines, I love music that places images in my mind and sends me to places. Delve in my friends, the water is cool. A very promising and enjoyable debut overall.

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    Readers Comments

    John. County Kildare john.j.doyle@nuim.ie
    Purely on Adrian's advice, I'm checking this one out. Sounds very tempting, and Adrian has such a wonderful way with words, that I just can't resist. Okay, here goes.....

    top of page this page last updated 28/06/08

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