Hackney-based duo Laxmi bounce straight out of the speakers and into your brain: you can’t shake them off, no matter how hard you try. Their unique brand of ‘voodoo pop’, created from found noises and urban soundscapes, is suited to both grimy clubs and the darkness of your bedroom at night.
Laxmi’s new EP, Rules Made By Men Who Never Sleep, is a challenging set of songs that fights definition. It pays homage to the likes of PJ Harvey and early M.I.A., while settling into its own groove, carved out by pulsing basslines and razor-sharp lyrics. It can loosely be termed electronica, though so many other influences creep in that it’s hard to keep up with them. ‘I Wanna Be Your Blood’ is probably the most accessible track, with its strangely relatable lyrics and potential for remix. It builds satisfyingly, drawing in the listener before dropping off into nothing.
Singer Lou Barnell has a massive voice, dripping with nonchalance and cool. Her enveloping vocals are supported by guitarist Stergin, forming a match that’s dirty, deep and fresh. Both are labelled producers, suggesting an independence and spiritedness that shines through in every track. ‘It Is Over’ is the highlight of this short offering, with a thumping rhythm and catchy hook. This is music to move to.
Not everyone’s cup of tea, Rules Made By Men Who Never Sleep is undeniably ambitious and atmospheric. The concept isn’t new by any stretch, but it’s a clever and provocative rendering of found sound. It might not break any records in the mainstream, but this EP’s originality and irresistibility surely mean this sound will become a staple on the East London electronica scene.
Laxmi next play at The Bird’s Nest in Deptford on 17 April