Boomkat Product Review:
K Leimer’s 4th LP Land of Look Behind is a genuine ambient pearl from the early years of his Palace Of Lights label. Remastered (by Greg Davis) and reissued on vinyl for first time since 1982!
It was originally conceived and deployed as the soundtrack to Alan Greenberg’s film of Bob Marley’s funeral, taking the film’s location recordings of crowds at the funeral and Rastas in Cockpit County - high in JA’s mountainous interior - as cues and raw source material for a sublime, rhythmelodic suite of 4th World Ambient themes. The result are totally absorbing, some of the most enduring music in Leimer’s revered cache.
Opening up the process-oriented approach of his then-previous album, Closed System Potentials (1980), Leimer’s 2nd side for PoL is a beautifully ethereal, pensile thing which bears an intrinsic link to the film, which, like the soundtrack, isn’t just a straight-ahead match of sound and image; rather it’s dreamily immersive yet detached, hovering between enigmatic and sublime thanks to the use of sampled and reframed dialogue, and most subtly, in the way Leimer and his quartet of drummers - Steve Fisk, Kevin Hodges, David Keller, James Keller - also use the dialogue and street noise as cues, trigger points for syncopated patterns and weightless tones.
Like his best work with Savant, both prior and post this album, the meeting of swaying, pointillist percussion and floating electronics is key to the magic of this one, too. At many times between the chiming instrumental call-and-repsonse of Two Voices and the mix of grubbing bass, pealing synths and patina of glossolalia in The City Far Below, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re in the midst of an Eno & Hassell record, but the distinction is clearly made by Leimer’s grooving suss and unfathomable sense of space, at its most compelling in the slow, crisply rolled Nyabinghi and keening pads of Testimony and Honor, or its widescreen partner piece, The Cockpit.
Colour us enchanted. This is a properly lovely record.