Loka: Passing Place (Ninja Tune) | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, September 23rd, 2021  


Passing Place

Ninja Tune

Dec 16, 2011 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

“Cinematic” is a music review cliché, but at times there’s no more appropriate word. Loka’s Passing Place begs the branding, being as it is very, well, cinematic: often instrumental, augmented by sweeping horn arrangements, carrying moods to great effect, and giving you the choice of focusing in or simply zoning out (there’s a Family Fodder song, “Film Music,” that sums up this wallpaper effect: “Film music/It’s empty/It pleases me/Come and see”).

Loka’s particular brand of film music is equal parts space jazz-fusion, post-rock jam, prog-rock flourish, and spy-movie soundtrack. “The Tower” is all Italian symphonic prog, sounding like an outtake from a ’70s PFM album, flute leads and all. “Temporary External” marries a loose jazz swing with arpeggiated vintage Philip Glass-isms. Standout track “Sam Star” mines the same psychedelic esotery as Broadcast, with gentle melody and a ponderous lurch.

The recording is quite pristine—the group worked with Thighpaulsandra (Julian Cope, Spirtualized, Coil) to dial things in, and the result is an enveloping, sonorous 50 minutes. Passing Place covers quite a bit of ground in that time, but what would cinema be without its establishing scenes, its ups and downs, its third acts? All are present here on Passing Place, and the ride is quite pleasant. Now if you’ll begin passing the popcorn…. (www.myspace.com/lokafireshepherds)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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