lokai – 7 Million (2005)


In 2004 I wanted to do a new solo project using guitars, voice and electronics. Stefan Németh showed interest, and joined in. Out of this a ten year long collaboration evolved.

“7 million” was recorded in a little tower in Drosendorf, in our rehearsal Studio in Vienna, and my studio as well.

Stefan is the co founder of mosz records. And we were happy to release our record on this fine plattform. More infos about lokai on sonotope, Stefan Németh´s current plattform.

Listen and buy



Press Reviews

Chris Sharp, The Wire magazine (GB)
Lokai’s debut album continues a brilliant run of form for the Megoallied Mosz label. This Austrian duo, comprising Florian Kmet and Stefan Németh, centre their spare, measured explorations on the many sounds of the electric guitar: leaving openended arpeggios hanging in elegantly distressed space and garlands of feedback intertwined with fiendishly processed electronic noise. The juxtaposition of unhinged sonics with professional attention to detail is invigorating throughout – check out the molten, wayward electricity smeared wantonly across the stark, monochrome spaces of “Taora Atoll”, or the interplay between the swelling skeins of guitar and the measured subbass modulations on “Hellen”. The album’s centrepiece is the sprawling, multidimensional “Chuuk”, a rolling, gathering cloud of amorphous sound, which thickens gradually from almost nothing to a piercing climax before subsiding like slo-mo skyscraper demolition into fraught, tense silence. Not easy listening but enthralling all the same.

RM2, Vital Weekly #490 (NL)
Lokai is a new duo of Florian Kmet and Stefan Németh, both Austrians. Kmet was unknown to me but Németh is mostly known from playing in Radian, and he also co-runs the Mosz label on which this album is released. Kmet plays guitar, and Németh adds all the electronics on ‘7 Million’, a short album with 6 explorations of combining the two. There is sometimes a heightened awareness of each other at play here, as the plucking of the guitar sometimes breaks through the electronic frame in delicate ways, but also other moments where it seems that Németh went out by himself, almost forgetting his partner. It could be considered improv in the sense of a lot of Erstwhile releases with their duo recordings, but it holds too many little melodic or at least song-structured elements to fall into that scene. Actually, although I know it’s not the most original comparison, it’s much closer to Fennesz, when the guitar sounds are looped and the electronics float all around it, like on the last part of ‘Mikrostekon’. Best tracks are those where the guitars are not recognizable as such, as on ‘Chuuk’, a 13-minute almost-noise epic. Looking forward to hearing more from them.

Bleed *****  De:Bug (D), 2005
Manchmal wäre man froh, wenn man nicht so eine Schlampe wäre, die Promozettel lieber dazu benutzt, dass Tische nicht wackeln oder so, denn ich hab keine Ahnung wer Lokai sein mag. Die Musik aber ist durchaus bezauberndes Slomogitarren und sonstige Instrumente. Zeug, das perfekt klingt, wenn man selber am liebsten vor Hitze zerfließen möchte, dabei aber wirklich keinen Kitsch gebrauchen kann, sondern ab und an auch schon mal die pure Elektronik brummen hören will. Intensiv und gewaltig, zart und zerzauselt. Gut gemacht Mosz.

Den Wienern gelingt etwas sehr seltenes, nämlich ihre instrumentellen Texturen aus Gitarre und Elektronik so dicht und gleichsam offen zu halten, dass es einem, wie Ebbe und Flut, ganz natürlich vorkommt.

C.S., Black (D)
“7 Million” bietet genau die Musik, die man sich gut als intelligente Alternative zur sogenannten Fahrstuhlmusik vostellen kann – und das ist alles andere als negativ gemeint. Ob nun als Musik in einer Ausstellung, beim spätnächtlichen Arbeiten oder doch beim bewußten, aber der Entspannung dienenden Zuhören ist das was Florian Kmet(Superlooper) und Stefan Németh(Radian, Synapsis) in (leider nur) 37 Minuten bieten, nahezu eine Punktlandung. Zwischen leicht angekratzten Gitarren und sich imemr wieder selbst umstrukturierter Elektronik schwebt etwas in der Luft, was einerseits fragil wirkt, aber schon mal eine Mauer aus Loops, Soundfetzen un d Gliches ausufern kann. Sehr schön.

Eugenio Maggi, chain D.L.K. (I)
Lokai is an Austrian duo formed by Florian Kmet (guitars) and Stefan Németh (electronics and additional guitars), the former being a classical trained guitarist with several collaborations in his curriculum, the latter better known for being a member of Radian (by the way, what an amazing band… one of the most thrilling live sets I’ve ever seen). “7 Million” is a quite varied work, which doesn’t necessarily add anything new to experimental guitar+electronics-based composition (it’d be honestly hard to do that, anyway), but turns out to be a successful work of synthesis. From the dreamy plucking and loops of “Histoire ds” to the intimidating distortion of Mikrostekon”, “Taora atoll” and “Chuuk” to the droning release of the almost Ambarchi-an ending “Hellen”, the album skillfully alternates suspension and aggression, in a troubled intimism which is well portrayed by the layout pictures: the sea is close at hand, but the sun is not always shining.

Touching Extremes (I)
Florian Kmet and Stefan Németh create oscillating chiaroscuro images of perturbed tranquillity through an interesting use of guitar and electronics. There are involuntary allusions to several recent similar project – see the above reviewed Arden CD – yet the duo distinguishes their broken-dream atmospheres with a larger employment of noise and disturbance: good examples come from the distorted drones of “Chuuk” or the initial mass of radio transmissions opening “Histoire DS”. Florian and Stefan’s sensibilities shift the focus nicely, spanning from clear articulations and circular mind-benders to adventurous investigations of electroacoustic implantations breaking an imperfect calmness. Choosing to reduce the record’s duration at about 37 minutes they also show an appreciable will to avoid overstaying their welcome – a rare commodity these days

Sebastian Fasthuber, Falter(A)
Hinter Lokai versteckt sich Radian-Drittel und Mosz-Hälfte Stefan Németh im Duo mit dem Gitarristen Florian Kmet. “7Million” ist ein Platte, wie sie früher selbstverständlich auf dem mego-Label erschienen wäre – Musik, die sich irgendwo draußen im Soundorbit wohler fühlt  als in der klar abgesteckten Popwelt, Gitarrenklänge und Elektronik  gehen mal harmonische Verbindungen ein, reiben sich an anderen Stellen gehörig aneinander; Strukturen wechseln sich mit improvisiert wirkenden Passagen ab; auf Stille folgt Lärm, auf Dissonanz Wohlklang. Und es tönt alles andere als beliebig, aber auch nicht zu kalkuliert. Ein Highlight des Elektronikjahres.

Rich Allen, parnassusrecords.com
The combination of digitally processed guitar and field recordings is now a popular electronic subgenre. Austrian Stefan Nemeth (Radian) is one of the scene’s most accomplished magicians; his work here with Florian Kmet is consistently engaging, a crackling collection of static whispers and sonic pings that rattles and hums for a few tracks before entering the 13-minute maelstrom of “Chuuk.” This sonic centerpiece is a slow-building drone that crashes into cacophony before descending into a drizzle of motor and creak. An experiment that works.