Craylo first appeared as a signal on my new music radar about a year back when they were way out on the edge of the screen, just another unsigned electronic band looking for some recognition and a step up on the label ladder. One year on and i’m happy to say the signal on the radar is pulsing dead center with a release on September 2nd on the Itchy Pig Records label. Craylo are Raoul Ray and Chris Massey from London who combined their talents in 2010 to work on this new album. Raoul has played with numerous guitar based bands in the past including My Friend Brian, while Chris has released electronica with Boltfish Records as the artist Taborshell.

Trying to find a niche in the morass of electronica releases these days is no easy task but Craylo appear to have achieved this with apparent ease thanks to their distinctive blend of melodic acoustic and electric guitar, synth pads, vocal samples, sweet piano lines, tight punchy rhythms and some well-placed use of glitch elements. It’s a difficult sound to pigeonhole, which is always good in my book, and probably veers toward the melodic techno-ambient area with a hint of cinematic and nu-jazz thrown in. Every track has great development with some neat transitions that often take you in a completely different direction, indicating a healthy regard for experimentation that I hope these guys explore further. No sounds are overwhelming and the electronic and guitar based elements have plenty of space to express themselves in each track.

Define by Light is the stand-out track for me on the album with its unobtrusive vinyl crackle intro and airy swirling synth lines building to a punchy beat driven section that breaks down into glitch then builds again to a soaring play-out mix of piano, strings, guitar and synths over a driving beat – a fantastic piece ! Other tracks worthy of mention for me would be Plinky with its subtle use of female vocal and movie/broadcast dialogue samples in the mix, Losing Your Reflection which is probably the most gently  ambient and understated piece on the whole album plus Never Empty with its catchy melodic guitar line that sweeps through the track on a bed of foot-tapping glitched rhythms that constantly morph around the central theme.

This is an uplifting and optimistic album full of great ideas and so refreshing after the mass of rather nostalgic or doom laden releases that seem to be the norm these days. Put this album on in the car, put it on in the house, just put it on – this will brighten your day !

Craylo – Headtime Stories. Itchy Pig Records ITCHY 014. Released September 2nd 2011.

Craylo – Itchy Pig Records

Craylo – Facebook!/Craylo

Craylo – Soundcloud

Craylo – Define By Light video by So Money Productions on You Tube

Craylo – Podcast by Craylo for Itchy Pig records indicating their musical influences