It might be an exaggeration to say that Laroca make music like nothing you've ever heard before - but it's pleasingly / confoundingly / thrillingly impossible to describe their heady, uplifting mix of cinematic grooves, global beats, chilled moods and exotic funk.
Turntable culture and digital wizardy mix promiscuously with real instruments played live in the studio. Lush electronica and chopped-up 21st century beats fuse effortlessly with exotic gypsy flavours, tango rhythms and timeless Sufi soul. Chilled flutes and muted trumpets flirt wantonly with funky, choppy guitar riffs and brain-busting bass lines. It's music that is one minute reflective and profound - and as playful as a new-born kitten the next.
Rob Pollard and Olly Wakeford, the duo behind this rich, swirling musical pageant, met in the mid-1990s. Classically trained, Olly studied piano and flute at the Royal College of Music. Rob had a spell as a singer-songwriter type before reverting to the bass. Both then played together in various indie-rock bands.
''Clubbing and all the other stuff you do at that age'' led them into electronic music. ''I think we were just excited by the infinite possibilities of the technology,'' Rob says. ''We started with a cheap sampler and we got deeper and deeper into it, looping and layering stuff and working and reworking it. The classic bedroom set-up, really.''
By the time they signed to Just Music four years ago, they had already spent five years ''looking at a computer screen and chopping up drum loops'' as well as playing sporadic live gigs around their local manor (Oxford/Northampton), topped by an appearance at the Big Chill in 2004.
Their debut album 'Friends In Far Away Places'' appeared in 2006 and its luxuriant mix of electronica, muted beats and global flavours was well-received. NME called them ''cinematic groove merchants'' and amid the chilled, downtempo moments there was enough funk in the mix to attract the attention of Blues and Soul magazine, which called the album ''a magical piece of work''.