EP: Lau vs Adem – Ghosts


With their recent series of collaborative EPs, Lau have earned a reputation for pushing the envelope, so we wanted to do something similar ourselves when it came to a review. Given that the Scots’ records are named a little like football fixtures, we sent in sportswriter Tom White to give us his verdict on who came out on top in the Ghosts EP.

Lau edged out Adem by a score of 3-2 to shade an entertaining ebb-and-flow encounter – the second in Kris Drever’s men’s EP series, following their meeting with Karine Polwart – in which both sides featured prominently.

The Scots set their stall out early as the epic instrumental sprawl of ‘Farewell To Whisky Chess’ saw them control the opening nine-and-a-half minutes, but Adem drew level with his first clear opportunity as ‘Imporsa’ saw the London-based maverick make his presence felt through an array of electronic noises and beats.

It was left to frontman Drever to restore Lau’s advantage in the tie, his vocals illuminating the haunting title track. It was to remain the only lyrical contribution to the encounter, but this impassioned story of the son of immigrants struggling to make his way in the world will linger long in the memory.

‘Mr Timothy’ played a key role in midfield for Adem, his almost sinister twinkling setting up a coruscating finish of buzzsaw noise, before Lau weathered the storm with the help of Aidan O’Rourke’s delightfully hushed fiddle on ‘Jargonaut’. The Englishman continued to feature prominently, though, and fully merited his late consolation in the form of ‘Last Ghost Alive’, sending his fans home with plenty to be excited about despite the team from north of the border playing the more prominent role in proceedings.