Imagine Eats Tapes attempting a booty bass jam with DAT Politics at an after-hours Audio Dregs party and you'll have some idea of what awaits on Larytta's two EPs. Hatched in 2004, Lausanne-based Larytta partners Christian Pahud and Guy Meldem have frustrated pigeonholers ever since with a mutant mix of wacky dance pop and demented hip-hop.
The self-titled debut and the new follow-up Ya-Ya-Ya provide a pretty clear picture of the group's aesthetic. Approaching the matter chronologically, “The Money” gets things off to an audacious start with a gothic blues shuffle assembled from percussive creaks, what sounds like a baritone sax honk, and vocals that alternate between a distorted croak and a flamboyantly exaggerated falsetto (“Where is the money?”). Next up is “Just in Time,” a seeming theme song for S&M enthusiasts (“Spank me baby, spank me hard”), where the staccato pitter-patter of minimal techno is derailed by a seizure attack. The writhing “Hard Terrain” suggests a viral strain of hip-hop, though the song's beat sickness and arcade squelch is contained somewhat by a calming appearance keyboard melody. Equal parts laconic cowboy joviality and electro-pop rinky-dink warble, “Rodeo” pairs neat vocal (and vocodered) counterpoint with loony drum machine business.
The sequel's as wild a ride as the first if a little shorter in length. “Mother Earth” does a pretty convincing impression of a well-behaved, stately overture but can't resist dirtying its hands halfway through with interjections of noise and free-spirited singing. The EP highlight, though, is the rambunctious “Ya-Ya-Ya,” where ear-catching harmonies and arcade-styled keyboard motif get shaken and stirred with African percussion treatments and rhythms. Though still dance-rooted in nature, “Gimme Ten Sec” almost defies description, as the vocal line's defiantly punk in spirit and the backing's a jittery bit if grimy electro but see-sawing vocal chants hijack it briefly to Africa . Quasi-classical synthesizer lines collide over a skeletal shuffle in the rollicking closer “Wonder Vendor.” Pahud and Meldem have got ideas and imagination to burn, if these outings are reliable indicators.