Since the early 2000s, the Irish duo of Dara (aka Arad) and Ian (aka Eomac) have been painting intricate sonic tapestries ranging from haunting Arctic soundscapes to bass driven warehouse weight as Lakker. With releases on R&S, Stroboscopic Artefacts, Blueprint, and Killekill and support from the likes of Aphex Twin, Laurent Garnier, Lucy, Blawan and Surgeon, they are firmly rooted in the techno world however May 11, 2015 ‘Tundra’ LP on R&S will showcase their expansiveness and dexterity as producers pushing electronic music forward without any genre tag.
WHO: Berlin-based Irish production duo Dara Smith and Ian McDonnell
STYLE: Ultra-intense dub-inflected techno, clear-toned melodies over deep distorted bass lines, heavy ambient IDM
LATEST: LP (2016), Tundra LP (2015), Mountain Divide EP (2014)
LABELS: R&S, Stroboscopic Artefacts, Blueprint, Killekill, Love Love Records
MORE: McDonnell is also known for his old-school rave impulses as techno-house producer Eomac
Lakker mine the vast territory of electronic music, layering their electro-techno in breaks, haunting Arvo Pärt-inspired choral vocals and sudden waves of static and distortion. While the duo shares production duties equally, Smith more often stacks the Lakker sound bank full of synth patches and field recordings (Tundra features vocals by his girlfriend, Eileen Carpio) while McDonnell builds beats that may or may not resolve – live, they’re all arranged on the fly, made to fill bigger and bolder soundsystems and spaces as Lakker’s profile has grown.
After a more than a decade of DJing and experimenting in electronic production that began in 2001 with an electro-metal band called :undermine:, traipsed through punk, noise, doom, broken beat and into Autechre-styled Warp territory, Lakker found their sound – and it is huge. In 2011, Smith and McDonnell heard Aphex Twin play three of their tracks at the Forbidden Fruit festival and reality set in – shortly after, Lakker released an inspired EP on Berlin-based Killekill followed by a succession of EPs and singles.
Breakthrough waves of accolades came with the release of their abstractly narrative Tundra album and follow-up remix 12” on R&S in 2015, inspiring yet another experiment: the “Tundra” live A/V show debuted at last summer’s Berlin Atonal, smashing expectations and breaking some minds. In their North American debut, Lakker bring an anything-goes new live set to MUTEK.