Currently celebrating 20 years piloting the revered record label Bella Union, Simon Raymonde has scaled another personal peak, a new collaboration with drummer Richie Thomas. They’re called Lost Horizons, and though neither of them have strictly been lost, their stunning debut album, Ojalá, is a rare sighting of two gifted musicians who, for different reasons, have been largely absent from music-making for the last 20 years. Yet the record is proof of a telepathic relationship through music, established when the pair first became collaborators and friends in the eighties.
Together, the Lost Horizons ensemble has created an hour of exquisite, expansive and diverse spellcasting, from facets of soul (‘Bones’, featuring Cannon, and ‘Reckless’, featuring Ghostpoet) to dreamier invocations like ‘She Led Me Away’ (featuring Smith) and Ojalá’s lengthiest trip, ‘The Engine’ (featuring Riman). There’s the odd louder, faster detour, like ‘Life Inside A Paradox’ (featuring Neal, with Sharon Van Etten on backing vocals, and the first Lost Horizons track to emerge, on a split 7” single with Mercury Rev, for Record Store Day 2016), but the dominant mood is a deep, rich melancholia. “It’s just something I’m drawn to,” says Raymonde. “But he was equally drawn to working with Thomas.