Review: Lali Puna – Our Inventions

It’s been a while since I wrote about an artist from the Morr Music record label. Quite a surprise really given that this German label has provided a convenient home to several excellent electronica/post-rock acts such as Tarwater and Styrofoam. Another fine act is Lali Puna whose last proper album dates back to 2004.

Although they change little in pitch, Valerie Trebeljahr’s effortless, softly spoken vocals are perfectly suited to the quietly downbeat moods of the music, essentially becoming post-rock’s equivalent of Stereolab singer Laetitia Sadler. Since Lali Puna’s music can easly fade into the background (‘Hostile To Me’, for example,  sounds quite lifeless) it is important that they experiment with their formula. To this end, hip-hop influenced ‘Move On’ provides a notable highpoint whilst ‘Remember’ is based around hypnotic train track-like rhythms and well chosen vocal loops; it’s addictive in the same way as The Notwist’s ‘Pilot’ (with whom band member Markus Acher also performs). Even more impressively though, ‘Safe Tomorrow’ sparkles with bubbly electronica and Trebeljahr’s most emotive turn and ‘That Day’ contrasts the singer’s doleful tones with a bright, optimistic tune. It’s just a shame that half of the album veers towards the soporific.

‘Our Inventions’ is certainly a consistent record but the lack of variation means it’s not the most riveting way to spend forty minutes. However, when they do get it right – which is basically when they break out from their natural insouciance to incorporate a crafty melody – they are a joy to listen to.

Web Sites:
Lali Puna Official Site
Lail Puna MySpace

Further Listening:
The Notwist, Stereolab, Múm


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