PREMIERE: LA Takedown Hang With Very Good Dogs in “Bad Night at Black Beach” Video
From May's II.
There are a number of easy touchstones for LA Takedown, the Los Angeles–based collective led by Aaron M. Olson, whose sprawling, single-track, self-titled 2015 debut made waves for its hour-long exploration of krautrock rhythms, vintage synths, and the overall ambiguity of its tone—is this ironic music, or are these guys committed to sounding like the score to an anonymous ’80s flick? Bjorn Copeland from Black Dice called it “Baywatch krautrock,” which makes a certain kind of sense, but there’s also a reason why “LA” is in the band’s name: there’s a high-sheen polish and attitude to the band’s music that’s either a tribute to or play on their home town’s image.
Now, a year and a half after their debut, LA Takedown are preparing to release II, its followup, and they’ve made it clear that LA Takedown was no gimmick. “Bad Night at Black’s Beach,” whose video we’re premiering today, is a tidy pocket symphony that clocks in at under three minutes. While it begins with the somersaulting pulse sound that they perfected on the debut, it quickly becomes a miniature exploration of grooves both German and African, all filtered through the period synth and drum tones that are now their signature. Like Avec le soleil sortant de sa bouche’s Pas pire pop (I Love You So Much), it’s not concerned so much with getting from one place to another as it is in mapping the journey, which seems about right: If the speed of the Autobahn created the motorik pulse, crawling down the 405 at sunset means figuring out a way to enjoy going somewhere without moving at all.
You can watch the clip, which features Olson and some pals playing a high-stakes game of catch with some very good dogs, below.
II is out May 12 via Ribbon Music.