Lucky Dragons Dream Island Laughing Language

Twenty years ago, world fusion was in vogue. The misguided, surface level jams between curious musicians who tended to not have mastered the exotic instruments with which they experimented gave the genre a bad reputation. Lucky Dragons have digested all the folkloric and fusion attempts of the ensuing decades and chopped it up into a fine, breathable powder. They’ve had practice: Luke Fischbeck has released over a dozen-and-a-half releases over the past eight years to get to this point. The rhythms he creates are simultaneously non-Western but easily digestible for Western ears. There are no obscure, global samples here, Fischbeck and his contributors play their own rocks, and do their own vocals. A few exotic instruments, like mbira and dulcimer, remain but they are tone generators, not cultural signposts. These finely textured rhythms are often built from voices used as percussion. If you appreciate Autechre or Matmos, you’ll find much to love here. Dream Island Laughing Language is downright catchy, especially as it moves from music that evokes Burmese Nat Pwe sounds into something that wouldn’t sound out of place in a down-tempo lounge. (Marriage)