Review: Larry Gus ‘Years Not Living’ Album

Larry Gus is not his real name; he started out making drum and bass, and hip hop; and his new album Years Not Living (out now) sounds loosely like something out of the West Coast beat scene. Yet, the Milan-based Greek multi- instrumentalist is presently and perfectly at home on DFA, New York’s post-everything dance/rock hub.

Adopting his Larry Gus alias from a pun on the Greek term for larynx, Panagiotis Melidis puts his voice through its paces, veering from manly mumbles to androgynous falsettos. Inspired by nature and surreal literature, his style swings from melodic and ethereal on “Eternal and Ephemeral”, polyrhythmic and exotic on “Merely Today”, psychedelic and prog rock on “Pericles”, to fuzzy, distorted twee pop on “In Violet Ink (Misprints)”, and Matthew Dear-ish ambient grooves on the lead single, “The Night Patrol (A Man Asleep)”. As frenetic as this short list sounds, it’s but a fraction of more than 80 tracks that Gus allegedly sifted through for the final track list.

Altogether, it makes for an ambitious, if uneven, foray into sound sculpting reminiscent of the Avalanches’ sample mania, FaltyDL’s sunny funk, and Caribou’s dusty jazz. While there is nothing on Years Not Living as angular as LCD Soundsytem, as euphoric as The Juan MacLean, or as stylistically consistent as Factory Floor, Gus’s bounty of ideas makes it easy to see why it would make DFA’s collective ears twitch. And they’re not alone. The video for “The Night Patrol (A Man Asleep)” features Bradford Cox of art-rockers Deerhunter, and Gus will be touring with indie dance favorites Cut Copy. It should make for an interesting dance floor.

“The Night Patrols” (A Man Asleep) James Pants Remix