Landrow's Lay of the Land presents a complete sonic experience with each side of the cassette providing a different mode of transport to parallel dimensions, many only slightly out of phase from our own.
Side A – Populated by playful rhythms, alien synthesizer sounds, and free flowing melodies buttressed by raw sequences. Pair with terrestrial activities such as brisk walking, rowing, bicycling, or casual driving.
Side B – Take a trip off-world with beatless soundscapes and droning ambient melodies occupying the weightless space in-between worlds. Pair with spacefaring activities such as interstellar travel, meditation, and dream penetration.
Review from Raised By Gypsies:
On "Lay of the Land" we learn exactly cassettes still have value today. I know this is a singular release by Landrow but it does feel like a split- and at times I question it, though I know the truth- and so to have that difference between Side A and Side B is just something that you cannot do as well with a CD or digitally. Sure, a record can do it too but this is on cassette and so I don't think anyone is going to be transferring it to record though I'd advise against putting it onto CD or streaming it because of the dynamic created by the cassette.
On Side A, Landrow is full of electronic looping fun. It's rocking and then there are also sounds of aliens. Robotic vocals can come out to remind me of Phineadroids and Ferbots while synth laser whirrs also strike seemingly just as hard. There are pleasant tones and it's every bit "Miami Vice" as it is 8bit. There is just some kind of combination... some kind of line it walks that I can't define.
When there are not vocals (As this can change from being instrumental to not) the music seems to sing for itself. Somewhere between the Human League come the sounds of an emergency and this is everything you'd expect from an electronic type of rock band set in the 1980's or early 1990's.
And then we flip to Side B. Haunted, desolate drone rings come through. It's ambient soundscapes where the beats once used to be. A little of that "Lord of the Rings" sound can come through as it blasts into a speaker-shaking strength. A piano piece brings about the ohms and this side is just vastly different from the side before.
What I never fully realized or thought about until hearing this cassette though is how these two different sounds on each side still compliment each other and in some ways could be considered similar. I don't want to say that they're two halves and together they make a whole because each side really could stand on its own, but they just fit together so well like one is something and the other is the absence of that something.
released February 4, 2016
All tracks written and performed by Stephen Millard.