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Laika Come Home

Laika Come Home

4.0 4
by Gorillaz

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It was only a matter of time before the wildly popular animated pop stars Gorillaz inspired a spin-off, and if you thought Damon Albarn and Dan the Automator's cut 'n' mix cartoon alter egos were arch, wait till you get a load of Space Monkeyz. A trio of primate DJs, the Monkeyz


It was only a matter of time before the wildly popular animated pop stars Gorillaz inspired a spin-off, and if you thought Damon Albarn and Dan the Automator's cut 'n' mix cartoon alter egos were arch, wait till you get a load of Space Monkeyz. A trio of primate DJs, the Monkeyz make their debut with a dub-heavy remix project that puts Gorillaz the album on a deep-space trip. Where most remix collections are variegated affairs intending to prove their source materials' malleability over a multitude of genres, Laika Come Home goes in the opposite direction. Weeding out (pun intended) all the extraneous trip-hop, rap, rock, and Latin from the Gorillaz' debut, the Monkeyz -- D-Zire, Dubversive, and Gavya -- fashion a Trenchtown-style dub session, heavy on rattling percussion, brawny bass, and Studio One horns. In true dub spirit, the sources are almost completely unrecognizable -- bits of Albarn's vocals and melodica float here and there, but a track such as "A Fistful of Peanuts," ostensibly a mix of the Gorillaz hit "Clint Eastwood," is little more than a processed drum loop. Guest chatters -- humans such as veteran DJ U-Brown and the Specials frontman Terry Hall, among others -- keep the soundclash vibe on point. There is, of course, an amusing tale about how the celestial simians -- expendable pilots from the early days of space exploration -- have returned to earth looking for their leader, the Soviet cosmonaut dog Laika, but the real story is dub's resurgence, probably the best chance the music's had at the mainstream since Augustus Pablo's Rockers International imprint launched decades ago. And if it takes cartoon apes to get dub justice done, so will it, Jah. (Also available: a limited-edition version housed in a Digipak that contains two hidden tracks plus a mini poster.)

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
The enormous success of Gorillaz' self-titled debut spawned a couple of collections from the animated hip-hop group as a way of satisfying their public until their Svengalis, Dan "The Automator" Nakamura and Damon Albarn, could reconvene to deliver new material. G-Sides was a more or less straightforward B-sides collection, while Laika Come Home offered a unique twist on the remix album. Instead of hiring several DJs and artists to remix the group's songs, Albarn and Nakamura had Space Monkeyz, who did a dub version of "Tomorrow Comes Today" as a B-side for that single, rework all of Gorillaz' songs as dub excursions. While the actual identities of the Space Monkeyz are questionable, gorillaz.com says they are "mutant offspring of the monkey cosmonauts sent into space during the Cold War" -- their remixing skills and dedication to authentic-sounding dub are undeniable. An appropriately laid-back, playful feel permeates Laika Come Home; the album's best moments, such as "19/2000 (Jungle Fresh)," "New Genius (Brother) (Mutant Genius)," and "M1A1 (Lil' Dub Chefin')" explore the dub influences at the root of Gorillaz' sound and offer a fun, fresh take on the songs. In all, while it's not as exciting -- or, arguably, necessary -- as a new Gorillaz album, Laika Come Home is still a more satisfying work than the usual boring and/or unpredictable remix album. Fans awaiting the Gorillaz' next move will be sufficiently entertained by this summery, spacy collection.
Spin Magazine - Will Hermes
This is classic dub mixology -- pop reality warped into a string of bass-heavy cosmic cartoons. And for a cartoon pop group, what could be more appropriate? (8)

Product Details

Release Date:
Parlophone (Wea)

Related Subjects


  1. Jungle Fresh (19/2000)
  2. Strictly Rubbadub (Slow Country)
  3. Banana Baby (Tomorrow Comes Today)
  4. Monkey Racket (Man Research)
  5. De-Punked (Puck)
  6. P45 (5/4)
  7. Dub 9 (Starshine)
  8. Crooked Dub (Soundcheck)
  9. Mutant Genious (New Genius)
  10. Come Again (Re-Hash)
  11. A Fistful of Peanuts (Clint Eastwood)
  12. Lil’ Dub Chefin’ (M1A1)

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Gorillaz   Primary Artist
U-Brown   Vocals
Terry Hall   Vocals
Dennis Rollins   Horn
Jeff Scantlebury   Percussion
Tina Weymouth   Vocals
Stuart Zender   Bass,Clavinet
Miho Hatori   Vocals
Dominic Glover   Horn
Space Monkeyz   Multi Instruments,Track Performer
Martin Shaw   Horn
Simon Katz   Organ,Guitar

Technical Credits

Dan the Automator   Producer
Tom Girling   Producer,Engineer
Dubversive   Contributor
Jason Cox   Producer,Engineer
Gorillaz   Composer,Producer
J.C. Hewlett   Illustrations
Mixmaster Michael Smith   Horn Arrangements

Customer Reviews

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Laika Come Home 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ive been a Gorillaz fan since I first heard Clint Eastwood on Mtv, and have bought all their albums since. G-Sides was okay, mainly cause Ghost Train - also my favorite! - and the other new songs. But this CD has nothing but remixes. Granted, they are pretty good, but I don't want the same stuff again. I want new songs! Come on, Gorillaz, stop playing with the little monkeys and give me something good!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't know how you can say "Laika come home" is nothing new, just about the whole album is unrecognisable from their debut which is also great, and the dub-reggae stylings are amazing. I'm not normally into dub or any kind of mixing/cutting but this knocked my socks off. Its great red eye material that todays so called "new music" needs!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Personally I don't understand why everyone seems to be so against this album. It's fantastic. The songs on this album have the same titles and a couple bits of lyrics from the original tracks, but they sound nothing like the originals at all. These dubs are great. I listened to the entire CD for the first time at the beach down here in Florida and it made me realize how perfect Laika Come Home is. Strictly Rubbadub (Slow Country) and Banana Baby (Tommorrow Comes Today) have a neat ethereal quality to them that I enjoy very much. Other favorites include the dubs of M1A1 (Lil Dub Chefin), Man Research (Monkey Racket), and Mutant Genius (New Genius). Come to think of it, they're all good, and I could list every track on this album up there. Those spacemonkeyz really know how to slap a funky one. Basically, I think that if the tracks had completely new names people wouldn't be so uppity about them "rehashing the old," as Gorillaz dubs are always completely different from the original tracks. I'm not a fan of writing reviews, but I felt I finally had to voice my opinion on how Sovietly superior and how innovative this album is. Would anyone other than the Gorillaz release an island-themed album directly after a spectacular rock/rap/punk/whatever-it-was debut album? I SUBMIT THAT THEY WOULD NOT! ***** 5 out of 4 stars