Lollo Rosso by The High Llamas (Review)

Lollo Rosso moves in odd directions at times, but it definitely represents the unique style and talent of the High Llamas.
Lollo Rosso - The High Llamas

The eerie, beautiful, albeit Beatleqsue, pop created by the High Llamas has been delightfully remixed Lollo Rosso. Too many remix projects have tampered with quality music that was better in its original form (à la Low). Though the regular albums of the High Llamas contain experimental pop that’s as attractive as it is loungy, the remixes found on Lollo Rosso capture the same effect. The creative efforts here are a far cry from your ordinary, dull remix. The album is brimming with spacey, oceanic sounds that are sure to coax you into someplace dark with a martini in hand, but provides enough beats to keep your head nodding.

At first listen, the album gives off a Daft Punk-meets-Sea and Cake vibe. The opening tune, “Showstop Hic Hup,” is remixed by Mouse on Mars and contains a looping sample similar to Daft Punk, but with the sensual subtlety of the Sea and Cake. Much of the album has the soothing lush sounds and beats of the Sea and Cake’s “Fawn” album. There are keys reminiscent of Everything But The Girl that keep the song in more melancholy terrain, but it eventually veers off into a happy-go-lucky, almost cheesy pop track full of sounds that are off the wall.

The second track begins with a soundtrack for a night scene out of “Miami Vice” with distant Latin drums and a Santana-esque riff that brings to mind Crocket and Tubbs in their finest pastels. The Beatle influence is evident, though, with an organ playing riffs from “I am the Walrus,” only to be abruptly halted by a vinyl scratch. It appropriately leads into an ultimate Latin jam that is overtaken by a clubby beat and decorated with insane Moog sirens.

The tiptoeing vibraphone on Jim O’Rourke’s mix is lightly reminiscent of Friends of Dean Martinez and creates a dream-like fantasy that seems appropriate for a children’s show. An open field of flowers with a baby blue sky speckled by clouds comes to mind (with possibly a few prancing muppets here and there). The song winds into an almost psychotic collision of sounds that contrasts the first five minutes of the track. “Milting Tindmills” is another song which sounds like a fairy tale-esque tune from a child’s Big Bird record player. The Space Raid Remix may be the most consistent and calming of all the tracks. A triphop beat surrounded by “Walrus” sounds keeps the mood downbeat, but eventually, it’s taken over by an upbeat, Britpop feel.

Briefly put, the album can be described as a David Lynch attempt to produce a soundtrack for a scene in which his characters sit in a lounge and randomly say the most obscure things you have ever heard. The mixes throughout Lollo Rosso move in odd directions at times, but they definitely represent the unique style and talent of the High Llamas.

Written by Nolan Shigley.

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