LE 004LP LE 004LP

LeRoy presents Bambadea, a little over a year after the Munich-based artist's debut offering, Skläsh (LE 003CD/LP, 2015). Skläsh made a huge splash. Countless trend-savvy media outlets dubbed it an electrified joyride and likened it to the discovery of an all-new orbital speed. Bambadea is an album born out of personal elation and European Weltschmerz. Accordingly, Bambadea sounds both desolate and sun-drenched, gloomy and ecstatic - a paradoxical state that actually has a subversive element of indetermination to it. These tunes feel both warm and cool, sexy and somber, sometimes even both high and heavy-hearted. Seen in this oscillating light, "Advantage Of Nothing", with its slow-moving bolero vibes is, well, pretty hardcore. It's a disturbed, sweetly insane tune with a wicked dash of Brian Wilson-ism. Underneath, there's a steady downbeat push, a breezy marine glaze, as if time was indeed suspended for an instant: A lacuna, the kind of blank space that adds three-dimensional depth to the inter-locked syncopation of these tracks - and that makes Skläsh's tunes almost seem clunky and clumsy in comparison. Album opener "Quirly Stu" sounds like Neil Young's fingers let go of his guitar for a second, only to roll a cigarette while watching a tarred drum. And then, still in the same breath, the process of burning off as metaphor - for dealing with nichts ("nothing"), and nichtsein ("non-being"). Only to in- and exhale in the next moment ("Happened From The Void"), send enormous puffs of smoke into the blue skies above - and see: "Love Is In The Air". Growing increasingly denser and more atmospheric, "Half The Way" encloses the listener like a sonic tunnel, and it's true. The flute that enters the picture towards the end is just that - a small tunnel filled with air in rhythmical motion. And yet, while sunbathing and feathering one's thoughts in the gleaming light, there are ghostly voices, scraps of conversation amid the ebb-and-flow that perpetually hits these coastlines, an aquatic hustle and bustle, full of underwater sounds that ultimately forms a maelstrom around "Coral Girl". It's the sheer intricacy of these tunes that makes Bambadea feel everything but aloof, everything but calculated or trying hard. This is pure pop as primeval force, the sound of eons combined to one big, harmonious ostinato.