The Land of Look Behind

K.Leimer 1982

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Between Laraaji reissues, the vaporware scene, and Colin Stetson namedropping Enya, New Age music is enjoying an hipness it frankly never enjoyed before. Amongst all the audio archeology of 80s synth music, there's bound to a few gems amongst all the lesser duds that just are well forgotten. On that spectrum, The Land of Look Behind is a semi-precious stone, at least (topaz, maybe).

Surprisingly, this proto-ambient-electornica work started life as the soundtrack to a documentary on Bob Marley's funeral. K.Leimer wisely avoided trying to appropriate island styles (nary a skank-beat to be found here), instead letting faint field recordings represent the place itself. The icy keyboard tones mixed with chop-shop drumming calls to mind work Richard H. Kirk's would be doing 10 years later. There's a vari-speed tape warble to his loops that would make Oneohtrix Point Never jealous.

Rarely, do soundtracks actually bring out the best in musicians, but The Land of Look Behind would be hard to beat.