Ian McDonnell and Dara Smith, better known as Lakker, are a techno music duo from Dublin. The pair have been making music since the early 2000s and released their debut album Rudio in 2007. Rudio, despite being both interesting and powerful always felt slightly unfinished and unrefined.
Since the release, Lakker have been building upon their music style and their latest album, Tundra, marks a switch to a much more sophisticated and streamlined sound. The release feels far more together and the tracks blend seamlessly from one to another, creating a narrative like structure that we have not seen in previous Lakker releases.
Opening track Echtrae is very trance like and progressive and leads into what is possibly the best track on the album, Milch. The layering of sounds in Milch engages the listener whilst the captivating mix of traditional drumming and mystical vocals drives the song forward.
The track Three Songs also has a heavy focus on vocals, fading in with delicate choral vocals before moving into the deep electronic bulk of the song which sees the vocals becoming far more occasional, trickling in between the synth and scratchy electronic beats.
Tundra features a more typical approach to music timing but Lakker’s futuristic sound still shines through with the use of static samples and the swelling of a low electronic hum which creates a very moody atmosphere.
Pylon is instantly recognisable from the outset with a stand out opening, which features low drum beats with an off beat in every bar. The track builds up very slowly until the middle of the song when piano notes begin to be fed in.
The albums track of the album Herald is noticeably far less intense than many of the others. The simplicity of the song makes for a perfect ending to what is an impressive album. The release showcases the musicianship of Lakker and pushes at the seams of expectation – an undeniable success for McDonnell and Smith.
‘Tundra’ is out now on R&S Records. The full track-listing for ‘Tundra’ is as follows…