On his debut offering, Ruairi Lynch AKA Bantum has taken influence from a line in Saki’s short story Sredni Vashtar and assembled his very own “legion of familiar phantoms”. There are definitely some familiar names on this record including Owensie, Logikparty’s Benni Johnston and R.S.A.G but there are also some less familiar (but equally talented) vocal contributions from Margie Lewis and Eimear O’Donovan.
Opening track ‘No More’ starts with the slow stab of electric guitar but soon descends into an electronic groove with downtempo beats and synth laden hooks. The inclusion of Spanish guitar sections is reminiscent of Owensie, who features on vocals alongside Eimear O’Donovan on ‘Roll Pt. II’. Title track ‘Legion’ is a slow builder but reaches astounding heights thanks to Margie Lewis’s haunting voice.
The album is a collection of sounds and influences that span many genres. Some parts hint at Lynch’s rock influences as well as some beautifully crafted IDM sections with elements that would not be out of place on a Death in Vegas or Tycho album.
‘Send Me Under’ moves proceedings to another level with its hypnotizing vocals and hazy guitar line under some sizzling beats. ‘Frenzy’ does exactly what it says on the tin and sends Legion out on a high.
There is room for Bantum to expand here; the large amount of instrumentation on the album would lead to a terrific live show if this could be pulled off with a full band. This is a mature début from the Cork man and a big step forward from his previous releases. If this year is anything to go by you’ll be seeing a lot more of this man and his legion in the coming months.
Legion is out now on the Eleven Eleven Label.