Dusted Reviews

Laika - Wherever I Am I Am What Is Missing

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Laika

Album: Wherever I Am I Am What Is Missing

Label: Too Pure

Review date: Oct. 27, 2003

You get the lurching stop-action rhythms of ’70s krautrock, filtered through thumping house. You get the gloom and physicality of what the kids once called “trip-hop.” You get a few gimmicks sprinkled on top, but nothing Raymond Scott wouldn’t do. But there’s something that lifts the music of Laika above its essentials: A balance of melancholy and sobriety.

Sure, this music is sexual. Laika’s 1995 debut Silver Apples of the Moon is one of the only record albums I’m willing to credit with getting me laid. It’s funky, in a sideways sort of way. You could dance to it, if you’re blessed with imagination. But unlike Massive Attack or anything else to which you might easily compare Wherever I Am I Am What Is Missing, it sounds best a little past 4 in the morning, alone in a bedroom through headphones, accompanied by the resolve to surface from depression and shrug off frivolous celebration in favor of, for now, getting things back together. WIAIAWIM could score such a moment of alchemy – self-pity into resolve – with more moody charm than anything the band named after the first dog in space has issued to date.

Unlike 2000’s undercooked Good Looking Blues, which made a joyful noise but refused to burrow in the brain, Wherever I Am I Am What Is Missing is best when it scales down the gimmicks and cruises on simple hooks. Sure, there’s plenty of skittering fun to be had (“Diamonds and Stones,” the gorgeous “Oh”), but the hits here are “Alphabet Soup”, which doesn’t build far above its cop-show funk foundation until the hook soars out like an angel through a sunroof, and “Dirty Bird”, which is mellow with a vengeance.

By Emerson Dameron

Read More

View all articles by Emerson Dameron

Find out more about Too Pure

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.