Daiana Feuer on
Instrumental mavericks L.A. Takedown have announced a new album, “II,” set for release May 12 via Ribbon Music. Unlike 2015’s self-titled debut, “II” features the full band: keyboardists Ryan Adlaf and Jonah Olson, guitarists Miles Wintner and Stephen Heath, drummer Mose Wintner, bassist Jessica Espeleta and, of course, composer and band leader Aaron Olson. L.A. Takedown recorded 12 new tracks of proggy cinematic cuts at a home studio in Van Nuys with producer Shane Stoneback (Sleigh Bells, Cults, Vampire Weekend). Olson describes the experience as “seven goofballs eating snacks and watching ‘Columbo’ and making music.” How many snacks does it take to fuel one full-blown symphonic pop soundtrack? The world will never know. “Bjorn Copeland of Black Dice once described L.A. Takedown to me as ‘Baywatch Krautrock,’” Olson says. “I found myself saying, ‘Well, you know … it’s not not that — works for me!”
The first single, “Night Skiing,” sets the tone with a shimmering overdose of guitar shredding courtesy of Heath. In the video, Heath plays “wandering man,” who stumbles into a van in middle of the desert and takes a pill offered to him by “the dirty man,” played by Olson, then transforms into “shredding man,” and finds himself atop a pile of boulders, soloing, joined by the rest of the group. Bassist Espeleta’s only appearance in the video is on his jacket, but what a mighty cool jacket it is.
All silliness aside, Olson has a serious musical mission, to reinvent a fusion of pop, post-rock and soundtrack music. “We live in a world where we’re so inundated with all these pieces of pop culture that they just become part of us,” OIson says. “I like to try to find new ways to present things that are already familiar to everyone.”
|||Watch: “Night Skiing”
||| Live: L.A. Takedown performs May 26 at Bootleg Theater. Tickets.