Iko's new album is released in 2009
Iko's bigger sound
By Laura Joint
Exeter band Iko show off their bigger, louder sound on their new album, Ludo Says Hi.
Seventeen-hour shifts shouldn't be fun, but for Exeter band Iko, working virtually around the clock was a great experience.
Iko spent two weeks at Peter Gabriel's famous Real World Studios in Wiltshire, recording songs for their new album, Ludo Says Hi.
"We were starting at 11am and getting home at 4am the next morning," said lead singer Kieran Scragg. "Yes, some of it was partying but mainly it was recording.
"There are herons around the studio complex and we were going to bed when they were getting up. But it didn't feel like work."
The recording was done during summer 2008, and the production has been taking place at studios in London which has meant the band travelling up to the capital on many weekends since.
The album is set for release in early 2009. In the meantime, an EP with five of the new songs, Control Alt Delete, is available for download free of charge from Iko's myspace website.
The band say the new songs are a progression from their debut album, I Am Zero, which was recorded in 2006.
They've been helped by producer/engineer Sean Genockey, who has worked with the likes of the Manic Street Preachers and Suede, and mixer Ed Woods.
The result is a different sound, according to drummer Rob Maxwell: "Working with Sean has provided a real insight," he said.
"It's given us a chance to be more edgy, to have more of a band sound. The first album was more subtle. It's a natural progression."
Kieran is happy with the change: "People who liked the first album will notice the difference. We've used louder guitars and bigger, heavier drums. It's given us a bigger sound.
"It's a different way of recording - doing the original recording and then producing it over a period of time. It means we get away from it and then return to it so we can hear it developing.
The new EP is available to download - free
"We've taken time with it and it has given us the chance to change things."
The Iko line-up is completed by Neil Reed on strings and keyboards and Darren Harvey Regan on bass. Cello player Beth Porter and her string quartet also feature heavily on some of the songs.
The new album will be available for download on iTunes, and a limited number might also be released as a hard copy.
Iko are releasing it on their own label, My Hart Canyon, as they aren't signed to a label in the UK.
However, they have a deal with a record company in Denmark, Copenhagen Records, and have successfully toured the Scandinavian country.
"We had a great time," said Rob. "We had great support from the record company and we supported a big Danish act which was a big success.
"But now we're completely focused on getting our new songs out there."
So what's the story behind the album's name, Ludo Says Hi? Kieran explained: "It's a private message to a friend. All of the songs are like a series of messages/letters.
"Plus, when you say it out loud it sounds nice so...".
You can listen to one of the tracks, This Room Needs a Priest, by using the audio link.
And there is more on Iko's myspace website, also linked.
last updated: 05/12/2008 at 15:45