Laurel Halo – Dust
The stark minimalism of 2013’s Chance of Rain was both an artistic leap and an abrupt stylistic transition for the American electronic artist. Ditching the vocals that had in part characterised debut Quarantine made for an often brutal experience but, for those prepared to connect as the work demanded, one that eventually revealed an unexpected beauty. Dust is a re-tread only in as much as it gathers the core componentry of both those records and couples them within a new and fascinating design.
The rasp and yowl of Buh-bye references the spare techno of its predecessor but the core of this record is built around the ersatz soul of Do You Ever Happen and Sun To Solar. Dust breathes so easy at times, its beats are almost loose. Note the bubbling groove of Moontalk where the Laurel Halo aesthetic is, for once, not so taut and not so fraught but an inch away from euphoric. Highly recommended; this time around there’s nothing to fear.
Listen to: Moontalk, Sun to Solar