Loka At The 100 Club

It’s a crazy world out there.

Or should that be a crazy Loka?

This constantly evolving and experimental music collective played The 100 Club last week to promote the launch of their new album Passing Place.

As someone who’s oft been called crazy myself, it made sense that I’d be interested in Loka’s sound.

Of course, my interest in the more unusual things of this world isn’t solely confined to matters of music, which probably explains why my date for the night frequently referred to herself as an alien.

Sadly for me, her spaceship was nowhere to be seen.

Still, the musical trip Loka were about to take The 100 Club on would be enough to sate for innate curiosity for the night.

Playing Passing Place in its entirety, Loka’s new record is the sound of a woman’s slow descent into madness observed through the prism of love.

Well, that’s what it sounds like to me.

And with their lead vocalists’ crazy eyes staring out into the ether, it’s an impression this collective seemed keen to perpetuate.

Loka’s live sound is built around the relentless drumming of Ian Jones, with guitars, keyboards, saxophone and computer effects all orbiting the hypnotic platform his metronomic rhythms provide.

Under the watchful gaze of founding member and keyboardist Mark Kyriacou, this eclectic combination of instruments sweetly blend together; ensuring Loka’s music never feels like a mishmash of sounds haphazardly thrown together.

Every sonic effect and melody complements the other, so that the sum of Loka adds up to more than its individual parts.

Having already listened to Passing Place, Loka’s new album is almost as unfashionable as the gauche shirt worn by their drummer; trying as it does to resurrect the spirit of concept albums.

These have been branded with a scarlet letter ever since their halcyon days of the seventies and “Prog Rock”, their good names sullied by the slothful self indulgence of musicians whose concepts oft spiralled pretentiously out of hand.

While this invited deserved ridicule, good Prog Rock has always had a special place in my heart.

Besides, the reality of music without a concept has been brought horrifyingly to life by retarded “music” shows such as X Factor.

Unless you consider the pursuit of money over everything else a musical concept.

After listening to Loka play Passing Place live, that’s pretty much how I’d classify their sound; good Prog Rock. Their forty five minute set swam serenely by, living up to the origins of their name by sounding like it came from another plane of existence.

And then it was time for some more music without any unifying concept to take centre stage again.

When I expressed this sentiment to a girl outside The 100 Club bumming around for a cigarette, she politely informed me that said musician without concept was her boyfriend.

So I quickly left in search of a ride home on my alien friend’s spaceship.

You see, it really is a crazy world we live in.

Words by Jonathan Campbell, Photography by Jennifer Pelligrini

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Dates ‘n stuff

December 2011