Koraal recorded the nine numbered pieces of “La Casa del Volcán” in order over the course of a three-night stay in Lanzarote, though whether this was a casual tourist visit or whether Koraal has some special association with the island is undisclosed. It is pitched as an hour-long portrait of Lanzarote, and it certainly paints it as an interesting place to visit.
The backbone of the release is gentle, vaguely balearic rhythms, but this isn’t dance music, and to an extent neither is it casual, chillout music either, though it’s closer to the latter. Soft pulsing and gated electronic noises roll gently around, whilst surprisingly warm- and close-sounding, sometimes almost claustrophobic atmospherics fill the middle.
Sometimes there’s a distinct tribalism to the drums- in part 4 for example, a track which also exhibits one of the album’s more distinct lead melodies. At other points it’s dubbier, letting the rhythms be a bit more tripped out, such as in the delay-washed casualness of part 5, the more straightlaced subbass of part 8, or the slightly tenser rubber-metallic bouncing sounds that meander around at the beginning of part 6.
In electronica, icy, cold sounds are quite easy to come by, so it makes a refreshing change to hear a really hot portrait- you can almost feel yourself baking in the sun just listening to it. As an icy northerner myself it’s oddly uncomfortable at times, as though I want to go and find some shelter, but in every other respect it’s a really enjoyable listen, and a really strong debut from the faintly mysterious Koraal.