Laika confound expectations at every turn. Theyre not a rock band, but they play guitars. Theyre not an electronic group in the usual sense of the term, yet they meld and twist samples with the best of them.
Margaret Fiedler left her previous band, Moonshake in 1993 to form Laika with ex- Moonshake bassist John Frenett and producer / engineer Guy Fixsen who had worked with Moonshake on their early material as well as The Breeders, Throwing Muses and My Bloody Valentine. They then enlisted the skills of drummer Lou Ciccotelli ex of seminal noiseniks God and who also fronts percussion ensemble Eardrum.
Their debut Antenna EP was followed by an album, Silver Apples of the Moon,  The media were suitably impressed: The Wire called the album "a work of impressive genius", while Mojo described it as "the missing link between the avant funk of Can and the ambient jungle heard on Londons pirates." There followed a US tour with Tricky, a stint on 1995's Lollapalooza jaunt, and dates with a wealth of artists such as Stereolab, MC 900ft Jesus and Dinosaur Jr. as well as many headlining shows of their own.
Theyve contributed tracks to compilations such as Virgins self-explanatory Macro Dub Infection; Brian Enos Warchild benefit album, Antennae 1 (with Bjork, Tricky and Pulp); the Wire tribute record Whore; and Offbeat - A Red Hot Sound Trip for the Red Hot Aids Charity (alongside DJ Krush, Tortoise, David Byrne and Barry Adamson).
The second album, Sounds of the Satellites  was more melodic than its predecessor but as ever, the music was a sexually charged mass of urban psychosis and fluid rhythmical tension. Again the press raved about them and Thom Yorke asked them to support Radiohead on the UK stretch of their tour
Good Looking Blues  was the third album and brought together everything that Laika love : strong drum grooves, melodic bass, bluesy/rap lyrics, folk melodies, jazz/hip hop instrumentation, bass clarinet, trumpet and turntables. It was attempting to reflect an emphasis on live performance often lacking in other bands that use electronics. Based around the core 4 piece live ensemble, longstanding friends and collaborators Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey), Matt Barge (Spleen), Dj Danny Doyle and flautist Louise Elliott added unique performances to Laikas heady mix.
The first single, Uneasy, was Jo Whileys single of the week on her Radio 1 lunch time show as well as Single of the Week in NME and Melody Maker.
The Good Looking Blues tour took Laika all over Europe and North America, playing to their largest and most enthusiastic audiences yet. Once a Laika fan, always a Laika fan, and this time they brought their friends! Radiohead took the band on a second tour with them in June 2000, this time playing in Ancient Roman Amphitheatres in the South of France and Gorgeous Piazzas in Italy. That's _Piazzas_, although the food was great too... A Whistlestop US tour was squeezed into Margaret's PJ Harvey schedule, following the summer festival madness in Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain and the UK. A couple of free days in January 2001 were given over to a trip to Istanbul, Turkey where Laika played two nights to packed houses. All in all, Laika's best year yet.
2003 saw 2 new releases: the compilation "Lost In Space" covering the band's first 10 years and a brand spanking new album "Wherever I Am I Am What Is Missing". Wordy title, yes, but Laika's most simple and direct album to date. It does what it says on the tin folks. Longtime bass player John Frenett was replaced by Iain Ross and the band has never sounded better. Gigs in far flung places like Macedonia went down a storm and Laika have secured a place in the heart of Eastern Europe.
The first half of 2004 saw Laika tour in support of their fourth album. Touring as a two piece across Europe Guy and Margaret worked harder than ever before. Wonderful shows were had in Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Zurich (to name a few!) A full-band lineup toured Poland in May and will be coming back for more in 2005 - motorways or not!
2005 have Laika in a reflective mood. Writing and recording and generally trying to make ends meet - the fifth studio album will be released later in the year. Where it is going no-one knows but it will be an adventure for all involved. Check back here for more info.
Laika are : Margaret Fiedler : vocals, samples, guitar. Guy Fixsen : rhodes, guitar, samples, minimoog. Iain Ross : bass guitar. Lou Ciccotelli : drums + percussion