More than four years since they first dropped their debut album and underground hit "Corners," 2005 sees LAL take the production up a notch. 'Warm Belly, High Power' is an emotive, personal journey with roots planted firmly in South Asia and branches stretching to hip hop, soul and beyond.
The album was conceived by LAL members Rosina Kazi and Nick Murray, as a musical journey through the changing seasons. From the album opener through to the final track, 'Warm Belly, High Power' sees LAL find a fuller and more ambient live sound thanks to musicians Rakesh Tewari, Nilan Pereira, Santosh Naidu and Ian De Souza.
LAL first came on the scene in 1998 with the inclusion of their "Last Stop" on the Metropass EP (PTR1201). By 2000, LAL had released their first full-length CD, the gritty, critically-acclaimed Corners. Establishing the duo as favourites of the Toronto urban and downtempo scene, LAL has continued to grow and evolve - with a full live band that has opened up for such diverse artists as Terry Callier (Jazz Café London), Nelly Furtado, Roy Ayers, Digable Planets and State of Bengal. Their unique sounds have also been recently remixed by the likes of Nick Holder, Moonstarr, Nu Era (4 Hero) and Abacus.
The music of LAL represents the cross-cultural Canadian experience, drawing from South Asian, West Indian, and Latin and African communities "with a deep commitment to social justice." According to lead singer Rosina, LAL is "the new Canadian sound represented by first generation from immigrant experiences, heavily influenced by European and North American culture."
Much has been made of the unique working and romantic relationship between lead vocalist Rosina and producer Nick through the years. Though their musical partnership goes back five years, Rosina and Nick have been together for twice that long and it shows in the music they make. As their music continued to evolve, Rose and Nick have worked together to get the sound that they were looking for.
Moving on from the gritty hip hop groove of 'Corners' into the realm of blissed-out next-generation soul of 'Warm Belly, High Power,' LAL has a lot riding on their second full-length. To their growing fan base in Toronto and around the world, LAL says that their record is "more focused, closer to the LAL sound - and it should provide greater rewards to those that open up their ears."
"(Warm Belly, High Power)...makes for a touching affair. 4/5" — IDJ
"Once Warm Belly High Power, the second release from Canadian outfit LAL, makes it to your CD Player, its going to be difficult to remove. Rosina Kazi's heady vocals bring down-tempo to a sublime breaking point in the headphones." — Bust Magazine