Boomkat Product Review:
Fresh from an appearance on Space Afrika’s 'Honest Labour’ album, collaborations with Klein and Lol K and a placement in the Dazed 100 list, LA Timpa finally offers his head-turning 'Equal Amounts Afraid' album on vinyl following a short CD run just before the pandemic hit in early 2020.
Served up on promising yung London label O___o, and made with additional mixing from Solange collaborator Kwes and mastering from sometime Dean Blunt engineer Amir Shoat, ‘Equal Amounts Afraid’ is a beautiful smudge of pop experimentation riddled with timeless musical soul. Following from his 2016 debut ‘Animal’, and guest production for Cold Specks’ trip hop sound, LA Timpa’s gently reserved and melancholic productions push an intimate pop vocabulary into spectral, dreamlike dimensions.
Introspective and avant like Klein’s psyched chop-ups, as sensuous as Blood Orange, but with a taste for expressively harmonised pop refrains that clearly recall Yves Tumor via Richard Youngs, the album unfolds with its own logic, deploying eyelid-tugging levels of hypnagogic charm that practically demand to be heard in sequestered, lowlit situations.
Seducing us to his singular temporality and hazy atmosphere with the vaporous falsetto and ambient soundfield of sirens and groggy bass in ‘Around’, a cut-up interlude leads into fragmented music box melody and intimate plainsong on ‘Fertile’, while ‘Core’ almost echoes the 4AD dream-pop of A.R. Kane, and ‘Give’ beautifully dematerialises indie-pop into ambient gauze.
‘Backyard Exotic’ surfaces his strangest side in a maze of mushied songcraft, ushering a trippier 2nd half where the songs really start to fray between ‘Caretaker’, the smokers’ hymnal vignette ‘Towel Under The Door’, before channelling Thom Yorke in the melting Mbira melody of ‘Rattle Snake’, and spooling out into proper ambient soul with the spine-tracing lines of ‘Tried Ice’ and the smudged magic of ‘Memory Phone’ where he truly divines a strength in his vulnerability in a way that should resonate with the most sensitive souls.