Squander Pilots / Genaro / Laki Mera
Dunfermline Montys (is this music? night)
‘Folktronica’ is for what is a ‘new’ artform, already an over-used term, but Laki Mera have been saddled with it, probably by some lazy journalist or other. The folk element must from the soaring vocals which could, on occasion, be likened to Maddy Prior or Linda Thompson. But not that much. The ‘tronics are by far the more prominent half of this pairing of styles – even more tecched up than their assortment of computers feed by drums, processed beats, and live drums full kit plus the distinctive cello and vocals. Hardly Fence, but they’d be quite at home in Anstruther.
Genaro are perhaps the joker in the pack both tonight and for premier Scottish electronic label Benbecula. Very little keyboards; indeed, not much digital to speak of at all, there’s nary a glitch in sight.. but their ‘eclectic signing policy’ is perhaps what makes their parent label what it is, as Genaro confound the norm with solid pop tunes and simple but effective guitar melodies. Starting like the Aphrodisiacs they move on and via a countryesque number before rocking out, perhaps this makes Genaro the anti-anti-pop.
We heard beforehand that this, despite appearances, won’t be Squander Pilots final gig – geographical differences rather than musical ones will limit their activities but they are up for gigging in future, Which is good fro anyone with an ear for a tune, as they are make effortless, punter-friendly electronic pop. Jo’s massive ‘box of tricks’ drives the proceedings, a beat-driven eminently danceable mess of tunes which traditionally crosses triphop and electro. On CD they’ve been described as bit ‘coffee table’ but live Donna vocals are closer to Bjork than Dido, and when did you last hear flugelhorn on a chart single? There’s a hint of Massive Attack and Portishead of course, but since the chap standing beside me remarks that they’re a cross between Arab Strap and the Stranglers, maybe it’s all in the ear of the beholder. What we do agree on is the quality of the tunes on offer. Haste ye back.