Boomkat Product Review:
Damon & Naomi's long-in-the--making lateat is a homage to legendary krautrock imprint Sky Records, recorded in quarantine with their longtime collaborator, Ghost's Michio Kurihara. Gorgeous sad 'n slow music for fans of Galaxie 500, Mazzy Star, or Low.
"A Sky Record" is the duo's contribution to the "quarantine album" canon, and finds them again collaborating with Japanese guitarist Michio Kurihara, who they've been recording with for over two decades. Begun in Tokyo in 2019, the album was completed in quarantine and comes with a lengthy set of liner notes from Yang, who shares that the period left her feeling grateful for her family and friends.
Although "A Sky Record" sounds like vintage Damon & Naomi - all sweltering tremolo guitar, hazy vocals and lighter-than-light percussion - there's an added layer of oddness provided by its conceptual backbone. Sky Records is the Hamburg label that was responsible for releasing legendary plates from Cluster ("Cluster + Eno", "Sowieso" and "Cluster '71"), Harald Grosskopf ("Synthesist") and Asmus Tietchens ("Biotop") among plenty of others. Krukowski and Yang take the label's aesthetic backbone - blissed out organ drones and skeletal rhythms that signify the era - and bury it in their songs like a hidden code. It bubbles to the surface on tracks like 'Split Screen' and closing track 'The Aftertime', in the saturated psychedelic textures and tangled guitar melodies.
But "A Sky Record" is a Damon & Naomi album more than it's a tribute to Hamburg circa 1975; the duo's warmhearted songs are a reminder that they're among the most consistent "indie" acts of the last few decades. Their next record will be lovely too, we're sure of it.