Laika

"that perfect point between melancholy and renewed optimism" TIME OUT
"bewitching, confounding and very often unique" NME
"Laika go where no other band dares to go" i-D
"classy headnodding stuff" Dj
"a choice blend of distinctive samples, and beautifully poetic lyrics" MOJO

Laika confound expectations at every turn. They're not a rock band, but they play guitars. They're not an 'electronic' group in the usual sense of the term, yet they meld and twist samples with the best of them.

Margaret Fiedler left her previous band, Moonshake in 1993 to form Laika with ex- Moonshake bassist John Frenett and producer / engineer Guy Fixsen who had worked with Moonshake on their early material as well as The Breeders, Throwing Muses and My Bloody Valentine. They then enlisted the skills of drummer Lou Ciccotelli ex of seminal noiseniks God and who also fronts percussion ensemble Eardrum.

Their debut Antenna EP was followed by an album, Silver Apples of the Moon, [1994] The media were suitably impressed: The Wire called the album "a work of impressive genius", while Mojo described it as "the missing link between the avant funk of Can and the ambient jungle heard on London's pirates." There followed a US tour with Tricky, a stint on 1995's Lollapalooza jaunt, and dates with a wealth of artists such as Stereolab, MC 900ft Jesus and Dinosaur Jr. as well as many headlining shows of their own.

They've contributed tracks to compilations such as Virgin's self-explanatory Macro Dub Infection; Brian Eno's Warchild benefit album, Antennae 1 (with Bjork, Tricky and Pulp); the Wire tribute record Whore; and Offbeat - A Red Hot Sound Trip for the Red Hot Aids Charity (alongside DJ Krush, Tortoise, David Byrne and Barry Adamson).

The second album, Sounds of the Satellites [1997] was more melodic than its predecessor but as ever, the music was a sexually charged mass of urban psychosis and fluid rhythmical tension. Again the press raved about them and Thom Yorke asked them to support Radiohead on the UK stretch of their tour

Good Looking Blues [2000] was the third album and brought together everything that Laika love : strong drum grooves, melodic bass, bluesy/rap lyrics, folk melodies, jazz/hip hop instrumentation, bass clarinet, trumpet and turntables. It was attempting to reflect an emphasis on live performance often lacking in other bands that use electronics. Based around the core 4 piece live ensemble, longstanding friends and collaborators Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey), Matt Barge (Spleen), Dj Danny Doyle and flautist Louise Elliott added unique performances to Laika's heady mix.

The first single, Uneasy, was Jo Whiley's single of the week on her Radio 1 lunch time show as well as Single of the Week in NME and Melody Maker.

The Good Looking Blues tour took Laika all over Europe and North America, playing to their largest and most enthusiastic audiences yet. Once a Laika fan, always a Laika fan, and this time they brought their friends! Radiohead took the band on a second tour with them in June 2000, this time playing in Ancient Roman Amphitheatres in the South of France and Gorgeous Piazzas in Italy. That's _Piazzas_, although the food was great too... A Whistlestop US tour was squeezed into Margaret's PJ Harvey schedule, following the summer festival madness in Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain and the UK. A couple of free days in January 2001 were given over to a trip to Istanbul, Turkey where Laika played two nights to packed houses. All in all, Laika's best year yet.

Laika are : Margaret Fiedler : vocals, samples, guitar. Guy Fixsen : rhodes, guitar, samples, minimoog. John Frenett : bass guitar. Lou Ciccotelli : drums + percussion

Laika also played at...