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Electronic/Dance - Released March 15, 2019 | R&S Records

Lakker's third R&S full-length finds the Berlin-based Irish duo rejuvenated after 2016's brittle, barren Struggle & Emerge and several solo releases from both members. Época incorporates a wider range of influences than past Lakker releases; the duo acknowledge inspirations such as John Cage's prepared piano techniques and the forward-thinking Ugandan label Nyege Nyege Tapes. They also branch out by incorporating acoustic instrumentation, including violin, guitar, and bodhrán (an Irish frame drum), as well as their own voices. Much of the album is still built around the rough, crunchy beats Lakker have become known for, but the various string and percussion instruments add a much more fragile, vulnerable feel to the music. For the most part, the results are captivating. "100 Bar" melds chattering, shuffling IDM beats to jittery metallic tones which sound like a hammered dulcimer. "Nest" scatters distorted plucks and abrasive clicks around ghostly moaning and a dissolved dub bassline, and "A Juggling of Numbers" seems to feature Konono-like electric thumb piano along with its racing beats. The duo flirt with tense, apocalyptic pop on "Dropped Shoulders," which nearly resembles a soundclash between Grumbling Fur and Emptyset. Época seems to lose a bit of momentum with the murky "Body from the Water," but the searing, piledriving noise track "Discourage It All" provides a jolt of nightmare fuel at the album's conclusion. Lakker have seemingly reinvented themselves with every album, so it's no surprise that they're trying something new here, but Época is certainly the most human they've ever sounded. ~ Paul Simpson
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Electronic/Dance - Released May 11, 2015 | R&S Records

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Electronic/Dance - Released February 7, 2019 | R&S Records

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Electronic/Dance - Released May 13, 2016 | R&S Records

Re:VIVE, an initiative of the Netherlands' Institute for Sound and Vision, sought Dara Smith and Ian McDonnell to produce a conceptual work, based on the theme of water, using their audio-video archive as a sample source. The duo obliged with Struggle & Emerge, released in 2016 as the third Lakker album. It incorporates the producers' own field recordings, as well as material from radio and television broadcasts. The Netherlands, by necessity, has a complex infrastructure for water control, so manipulations of rhythmic machinery are a natural component of the album. The sense of unease, punctuated with bursts of harsh noise, evoke the land's constant flood threat. "Maeslantkering Gating" grinds and batters with far more force than anything heard on the 2015 Lakker album Tundra. "Broken Clouds" is filled with bristling distortions that obscure an alarmed dispatch of some kind. Even when the pummeling recedes and gives way to muted whirrs and ghostly melodies, Struggle & Emerge is a bracing -- sometimes stifling -- album to absorb. ~ Andy Kellman

Electronic/Dance - Released February 20, 2019 | R&S Records

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Electronic/Dance - Released June 29, 2015 | R&S Records

Electronic/Dance - Released October 13, 2014 | R&S Records

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Electronic/Dance - Released June 17, 2016 | R&S Records

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Techno - Released October 28, 2013 | Stroboscopic Artefacts

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Techno - Released August 5, 2013 | Stroboscopic Artefacts