The High Llamas

Sean O’Hagan is the co-founder and writer in the High Llamas as well as a major collaborator with, and part time member of, British Art popsters Stereolab.
Sean O’Hagan’s first venture into music was as the co-founder and co- writer of Microdisney. The band gained a world-wide cult status throughout the late 1980’s as a group willing to bring songwriting and politics back into a somewhat barren musical decade. They recorded 6 albums for Rough Trade Records and Virgin before disbanding in 1989.
The next venture was and is The High Llamas. In this project Sean was able to create a sound which blended the pop avant-garde, electronic music and contemporary instrumental composition. The High Llamas wish to find the common ground between 60’s European soundtrack, musique concrète and The Beach Boys. Critics worldwide share this overview.
The experiment has proved popular throughout the world earning the group a healthy cult and commercial reputation in the USA, Japan and Europe. The Llamas make frequent trips to Japan and the States, performing with artists from around the globe who have found a curious synchronicity with the group’s music.
The High Llamas regard collaboration as an important part of their musical pursuit and to date have worked with (amongst others): Pizzicato 5, Cornelius and Kahimi Karie from Japan, the cult Brazilian artist Tom Ze, The Super Furry Animals and Saint Etienne from the UK, the Köln electronic wizards Mouse on Mars, the German 60’s sci-fi writer Peter Thomas, Bertrand Burgalat and Kid Loco from France’s lounge /club culture, not to mention long-time co hort Jim O’Rourke and John McEntire from Chicago, and the legendary Beach Boy Brian Wilson. The list continues.
Their willingness to work outside the normal theatre of popular music is demonstrated by their recent performance at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London playing a V&A commissioned piece within the confines of the museum’s 14th century tapestry collection.
Sean’s involvement with Stereolab dates back to 1992 when he was brought in as a collaborating arranger and touring member. The relationship has grown since and Stereolab is Sean’s second musical home outside The High Llamas. TimGain (the main writer in Stereolab) and Sean have also embarked on a side project known as Turn On which is very much an experiment in electronic and acoustic improvisation.

01 Jan

The High Llamas live at the Queen Elizabeth Hall

Concert at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, Feb. 2nd 2002