Gentle Friendly - 'KAUA'I O'O A'A'

London experimental duo give joyous tribute to extinct bird species

  • Release Date 26 May, 2014
  • Record Label FatCat
8 / 10
London experimentalists Gentle Friendly's third album is named after a bird that's probably extinct. The last female kaua'io'oa'a was lost to Hurricane Iwa in 1982, leaving the once-thriving Hawaiian species represented by a male last spotted in 1987. Don't expect a saddening tribute, though. The joyous 'Wild Grass' opens a wildly eclectic record, crafted with only drums and electronics by a duo who formed after finding a drum-kit and some coffee in a skip. Detroit rave ('Love And Weather'), stoned No Age ramble ('Infinite Return') and muted Ariel Pink freakery ('Cloudbusting II') follow. Featuring the last known kaua'io'oa'a field recording, noise explosion '18 Wave Crash' crowns an expansive and brilliantly unpredictable triumph. Gentle Friendly's extinction is a long way off.

Ben Homewood

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