Exposure: Laki Mera
Laki Mera - Signals
Laki Mera, are a Glasgow five piece with a singular take on cinematic trip hop atmospherics who don’t really fit into any particular corner of the Scottish music scene. Their album. Clutter, was released as a download in 2007. They’ve more recently issued The Diet Of Worms, an EP of instrumental electronica. Vocalist Laura Donnelly talks to The List.
First things first: Where does your unusual name come from?
Laki Mera - from the Chimera. The monstrous creature supposedly made of the parts of multiple animals, but mainly referring to the Chimera as an illusion, a fleeting glimpse of a reality beyond ours.
You 'did a Radiohead' with your album, Clutter, releasing it on the internet as a Pay What You Want download. Do you feel that it was a success?
We did it to try and reach as many new ears as possible. After hand-crafting our debut album we just wanted this one to be heard. In terms of exposure it was very successful.
You toured with Paul Haig, of Josef K fame. Do you feel the band benefited from this experience?
It certainly taught us a little more about the UK music industry. It also exposed us to Paul's audience; he moves within a different music scene altogether. Shortly after that we did a mini tour with To Rococo Rot which in comparison proved to be a more eye-opening experience both artistically and from the point of view of exposing the band to a more relevant audience.
Where do you feel Laki Mera fit into the lineage of the Glasgow music scene?
Glasgow is an intensely musical city, brimming with talent and encompassing many different genres and circles. But we have sometimes found it difficult to place ourselves within any particular scene. Indeed, we find it difficult to compare ourselves to any particular music genre at all, especially as we progress and change and grow, which I don't think is a bad thing at all. It enables us to follow our need for experimentation and complete creative freedom rather than trying to appeal to one particular group or taste.
You record in your own studio in Glasgow, how does that effect the way that you work?
It's been a vital part of the band's development - a space to try anything we want with no time limit or restriction, putting down ideas as they come. This, though, does have the danger of making us a little too self sufficient. With our next recording we are interested in branching out a little; working with other producers and recording in different spaces.
Where do you see your sound progressing next?
We have always given ourselves complete freedom in terms of creating whatever sounds we feel the need to create at that moment! This causes our sound and live set-up to constantly evolve. We're going to start on the next album this winter and we can't wait! We learnt so much from Clutter in terms of writing, recording and producing and we're full of ideas for album number two.
What should someone who's never seen you live expect from one of your gigs?
Layers of synthesised vocals over tight, glitchy drum sounds and powerful bass accompanied by an array of acoustic instruments. An undulating, rhythmic, floating, pumping, acoustic, electric, spacious, energy. We also always slip in the odd 70's synth when we can!