Kago is the alias of Estonian poet / singer / writer Lauri Sommer. Known to FatCat since we hosted a couple of his tracks on our online demo archive back in 2006, he's someone we've remained close with and visited in Estonia numerous times. In 2008, Lauri played at FatCat's 'Open Circuit' festival in Hasselt, Belgium, mesmerising a crowd with his performance and winning admirers in the watching Animal Collective. Sommer began as a musician in the early '90s and has played punk, folk, indie, made dadaistic electro, sang in a church choir and studied English folk songs. Active as Kago since 2003, he has released seven albums, all but one of them via the Tallin-based Ounaviks label. These cover a mix of folk-blues singer-songwriter material, renditions of Southern-Estonian runic songs, dictaphone rhythms and DIY electronica, quiet piano pieces, stretched-out ambient and radio dramas. Though the name Kago was taken from the leader of a group of alien travellers in Kurt Vonnegut's novel, 'Breakfast Of Champions', and means "travelling chair" in older Japanese, Lauri lives something of a reclusive, hermetic existence even within his own country, living alone on his farm surrounded by forest. He has rarely travelled or performed outside of Estonia, and his music speaks deeply of the land it springs from. A member of the Seto ethnic grouping (a tiny, indigenous Finno-Ugric ethnic and linguistic minority in the far south-eastern corner of Estonia and north-western Russia), whose rural lives were united and regulated by the power of song, Lauri's membership of male village choir Utsiotso attempts to keep the Seto's polyphonic choral tradition alive. As Kago, his songs are freer, yet remain heavily rooted in those now decaying cultural traditions, often based on a long repetition of simple vocal phrases.

Read More

Track Title