Larytta | Difficult Fun
Most Likely To: elicit a variety of reactions, none of them neutral.
Larytta are Guy Meldem and Christian Pahud, a Swiss duo with a gigantic record collection and a fearless approach to making music. After releasing two EPs since their inception in 2004, Larytta bring us Difficult Fun, their debut full-length, which is neither difficult nor fun, but it is one of the strangest records of the year. Complicated Amusement would have made a more accurate title. Much like their home country has stitched together a confederation of Cantons, Larytta unites spectrum opposites like Krautrock and world music.
Despite the near infinite number of influences they evince, Larytta’s music still sounds very clean. Notably, the African-influenced “Ya Ya Ya” bathes a synth line in a soapy tub of percussion, while carefully preserving every note. On “Bauch Amp,” simmering dance grooves abut an almost gentle acoustic guitar line. Larytta sound like the spawn of Daft Punk and Peter Gabriel (“Voodoo Things”) one moment, while paying homage to Brian Wilson the next (“Love Love Odyssey”).
For Larytta voice is just another instrument. For example, the percussive vocals on “Spoiled Kids” which recede as Meldem launches a deadpan spoken word sequence: “Spoiled kids / Spoiled brat / what you want is what you get / Spoiled kids / Spoiled Brat / Now you wait and now you wait.” It’s not too surprising that Meldum and Pahud use a vocoder, turning what is left of their voices solidly electronic (“Voodoo Things,” “The City Walls”). Like gruyere, Larytta’s music is an acquired taste, but Difficult Fun will be endure precisely because it takes a little getting used to.
Listen to “Ya Ya Ya” from Larytta: