In summer 2014, Danes Mads Brauer (electronics and synthesizers), Casper Clausen (vocals and synth) & Rasmus Stolberg ( bass and synth) from Efterklang, and, Finnish percussionist Tatu Rönkkö (hand played beats on a MPC sampler and percussion), came together to form a new experimental collaborative outfit. Having made their live debut in late July ’14 at the Our Festival in Finland, this new “supergroup” set about establishing “their sound”, and to achieve their aim, promptly squirreled themselves away over the long winter months.
By the end of the year, they had not only found their sound, they had also formed a close bond, hence the name ‘Liima’ (Finnish for ‘glue’). Ready to face their diverse cross-section of fans, the quartet, armed with a well rehearsed set list, hit the road for an exhaustive continuum of live dates that ran the length of 2015 and breadth of several European cities from Istanbul through Madeira to Bristol.
October 2015 saw them they throw themselves into the Vox-Ton studio in Berlin, and with the help of producer Jonas Verwijnen and engineers/mixers Francesco Donadello and Antonio Pulli, they recorded 16 songs in just FOUR days, which I think you’ll agree is pretty WOW.
Despite the limitations, their ‘free’ approach was intuitive and spontaneous. In using the time constraints to their best creative advantage – (let’s just say that four days left little room for prevarication) – they managed to cohere short sketches and jams into an album of ten songs, recorded live without overdubs, using a basic live set up of drum samplers, synthesizers, effects pedals and bass guitar. The album, entitled ‘ii’, encapsulates several cross cultural & stylistic strands from Turkey to Finland and beyond, giving it a fresh, open-minded feel and “worldly sound”.
Liima have chosen the intriguing track, ‘Amerika’, as the debut release from the forthcoming album. It is a colourful and eclectic musical montage assembled by superimposing multi-hued layers of experimental, pop, new world and electronica.
It is an irresistible percussion driven track, comprising a medley of electronic sounds that twist and turn through a riot of several percussive sounds ranging from tinny stick clicks to cavernous bass drum effects.
This is an intricate synth fuelled composition, underpinned by deep, dark looping jazz-blues basslines, over which hang languid, spacious vocals, with an invitingly warm timbre, that climb up the vocal ladder to falsetto on the chorus. Despite its dusky, throbbing tenebrosity, the overall effect is infectious and uplifting. The unhurried vocal is appealing, the insistent percussion invigorating and the continuous gear changing of the synth sequences spontaneously focuses both ear and mind.
‘Amerika’ is a voyage across central Europe to the dark heartlands of the “home of the free” during which sonic souvenirs have been avidly gathered at every border crossing en-route. Although fundamentally a fusion of electronica, bass and percussion, the style in which the instruments have been played, and the loose, free-form approach that has been taken to recording and arranging, have ensured that ‘Amerika’ has an unorthodox vibe and uber dynamic beat, that are both magnetic and elevating. Its sound is somewhat indefinable – it is a “world” sound, that rails against the confines of standard musical box-classification, and in my view, the song is all the better for it.
Liima have continued their live tour into 2016, with a further continuation of the Euro leg planned for the Spring (see below for details). They will play as “artists-in-residence” at London EDITION Hotel (W1) from January 17-20, holding an exclusive performance of the album ‘ii’ to a private audience on 20th. See here for details.
Liima also play the prestigious by:Larm Festival, Oslo, which runs 2nd to 5th March.
‘Amerika’ is available to stream now on Spotify – you can listen to it here,
‘ii’ is out March 18th 2016 on 4AD, for info see http://www.4ad.com/news/13/1/2016/debutalbumreleased18thmarch
14th – Eurosonic, Groningen, Netherlands
1st – 2nd – Tallinn Music Week, Tallinn, Estonia [Tickets]
8th – More Music Festival, Brugge, Belgium [Tickets]
9th – Motel Mozaique Festival, Rotterdam, Netherlands [Tickets]
11th – Rich Mix, London, UK [Tickets]
12th – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, UK [Tickets]
13th – Summerhall Arts Venue, Edinburgh, UK [Tickets]
14th – CCA, Glasgow, UK [Tickets]
15th – Deaf Institute, Manchester, UK [Tickets]
16th – Patterns, Brighton, UK [Tickets]
17th – Espace, Paris, France [Tickets]
19th – Bogen F, Zurich, Switzerland [Tickets]
20th – Z-Bau, Nurnberg, Germany [Tickets]
21st – Berghain, Berlin, Germany [Tickets]
28th – Feinkost Lampe, Hannover, Germany [Tickets]
29th – Spot Festival, Aarhus, Denmark [Tickets]