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La Llama

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Album Review

Expanding the Savath y Savalas project to include another member and yet more musical ties to obscure South American folk music, La Llama may have been recorded on the busy Bowery but the setting sounds more like rural Brazil. Guillermo Scott Herren's project with Catalan singer and songwriter Eva Puyuelo Muns grew after 2004's Apropa't and 2007's Golden Pollen to include the Ecuadoran-by-way-of-Florida sound manipulator Roberto Carlos Lange, who makes for a perfect fit with Herren's skills and philosophy. As before, enterprising beatheads who assume that anything from Herren (or the label of release, here Stones Throw) must be chock full of breakbeats will be very surprised; Savath y Savalas productions are odd curios of slow-motion clockwork, only slowly rotating their gears and occasionally halting entirely — a naturalist's version of experimental-techno stalwarts like Autechre. The songs are airy and atmospheric, and aside from Puyuelo's vocals, tie most closely to Herren's heroes in the early-'70s Brazilian psych-folk movement: Milton Nascimento, Lô Borges, Lula Côrtes, and Zé Ramalho (especially the latter two). That style of music being obscure to modern listeners makes this project's viability a good one, and La Llama reveals material of quality from a great ensemble of musicians.


Formed: 1998

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Started in 1998, Savath & Savalas was created as a way for left-field producer Scott Herren (best known for his work as Prefuse 73) to explore his more instrumental and acoustic tendencies. His first full-length, Folk Songs for Trains, Trees and Honey, an experimental, glitchy affair, came out in 2000, followed by the EP Rolls and Waves in 2002 and the much folkier Apropa't — which featured vocals from Catalan singer Eva Puyuelo, who Herren met when spending time in Spain — in 2004....
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La Llama, Savath Y Savalas
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