Dubliners Ian McDonnell and Dara Smith formed Lakker ten years ago now, following time spent performing as part of the group Undermine. They kicked off the new project with an EP on The Alphabet Set, before debut album, ‘Ruido’, was released a year later.
Though their work has veered through experimental, noise-based elctronica, the most recent releases have crept towards techno territory; for James Ruskin‘s longstanding Blueprint Records, Love Love, and Berlin-based Killekill and Stroboscopic Artefacts – the latter for a remix. They have artists from Aphex Twin, as you’ll see below, to Blawan, Surgeon, Luke Slater, Silent Servant, Pfirter, and Ben Sims playing their music. Ian also has a solo project as Eomac, with an EP forthcoming on Killekill. Dara is behind the pair’s live A/V show.
The influence of much of the electronica, symphony and musical genius below is profound in their output – a good couple of brains to pick for a YouTube Session.
Aphex Autechre/Spider Silk mix
Ian: Aphex Twin playing our track ‘Spider Silk’ at Forbidden Fruits Festival in Dublin, 2011. A great moment for us, hearing one of our heroes play out our music. Added bonus that he mixed it with ‘Vletrmx’, one of our favourite Autechre tunes.
Tucker Martine – Particle Swarm Intelligence
Dara: This stuff is amazing. I’ve always loved field recording and this, along with Chris Watson, and Russell Haswell, are big favourites of mine. Its great stuff. Gets pretty intense. I made some similar field recordings while doing a Trek in Peru, but the great thing about these ones is you can turn them off when you’re finished, which is harder to do in real life, when they’re all around you. All night.
Zomby – Gaze Into The Abyss
Ian: Youtube is great for loads of unreleased Zomby dubs. This one blew my mind when I came across it. The drop feels like having the floor completely removed from under you. Abyss is apt in the title. Hope it gets a full release someday…
David Lang – The so-called laws of nature, Part III. Ear Massage Percussion Quartet
Dara: Great piece, which is on the OST for one of my favourite films, “Untitled”. Fair play to David Lang for having the sense of humour to do the soundtrack.
Ian: This piece is not humorous though, it’s just beautiful.
Morton Feldman – Piano and String Quartet
Ian: This is the full recording of this beautiful piece. It was the first thing by Feldman that I heard performed live. A mind blowing experience. Like having the inside of my head cleaned out. Nothing sounded as good as Feldman for a while afterwards.
Inuit Music – Katajjaq 2
Dara: Got obsessed with these when we were doing our Electronic Explorations mix.
As far as I can figure out it’s basically a game where the two participants have to stand opposite each other and make the other laugh or trip over the rhythm. They are done for fun or as ways to solve small arguments between groups. The people in the picture look like the coolest band that ever existed as well.
Damaar – Preaching for Mass Suicide
Ian: A short lived death metal group from Beirut. The name ‘Damaar’ means destruction in Arabic. Most of the tracks are about war, death and destruction. This is my favourite one. So fucking heavy.
Phurpa – live at Sansara club
Dara: Amazing sounds coming out of these humans. Was keeping my eye out for the damaru (drum, made out of human skulls) but couldn’t spot it. Pretty interesting stuff on discogs and about them.
EVOL – live @ The Woodmill
Ian: Not a youtube link, but hey. A great performance from the Spanish sound art group EVOL, using gas horns and computer. Love the ravey reese/hoover sound that comes in towards the end.
Dara: Would love to work with these guys.
Meshugga – Drums and Guitar
Dara: Our Good friend and musical influence Sean Carpio sent me this one ages ago, and I became obsessed with it. Meshugga are amazingly heavy and technical and yet keep it interesting. It’s great watching the guitarist’s face here and then scrolling through the comments with drummers cat fighting about where its in 4/4 or not. I think we’ve both always been huge metal fans.
One of the highlights of the ATP festivals for me was the Locust. So tight.
Dillinger Escape Plan @ Vergin Megastore
Ian: This makes me laugh. Instore gig some afternoon with the lead singer running on people’s heads. And the way the two guitarists play. Great energy. Very funny.
Autechre – Gantz Graf
Dara: This was one of the first things that really blew my mind as an electronic music video.
It’s still amazing after all these years. The track itself seemed so complex and noisy but now when I hear it I hear a really catchy melody, which probably means I’ve listened to it too much.
Ship Horn Symphony
Dara: I really got into the sound of big ship horns reverberating in ports. There are some real enthusiasts out there who get train and ship horns and mount them on trailers or in their cars. Thats the amazing thing about youtube is that no matter how specific your interest there’s always someone out there who’ll take it to the Nth Degree and then post a video about it.