Record of the Week

Laurel Halo “Dust”

Laurel_DustLaurel Halo

When somebody says about a musician that their newest album is “more accessible” it mostly equals a slam, but with Laurel Halo the things are different. The American who lives in Berlin succeeds on “Dust” in combining her technoid concept with very varied influences from free jazz, latin, ambient and pop and thereby to subvert herself, so to say. Her trippy, detailed beats and ticking, clicking effects are joining poppy melodies and vocals (including Lafawandah and designer Michael Saul), the result is sunny, floating alien pop that doesn’t know exactly if it is happening in front of behind the doof of a club.

The impression that the music comes from an undefined place and not implicitly from the still obviously visible loudspeaker permeates the whole album. A moment of alienation and distancing that was also always palpable on Laurel Halos previous records “Quarantine”, “Chance of Rain” and the EP “In Situ”, but which, on “Dust”, has developed notable cracks in regards to approachability.


Laurel Halo does not want to make it too easy for her listeners: The flowing “Moontalk” could easily be danced through, if only there wasn’t the nasty, wheezing “there is no such number”-sound that comes across like a noise interference on a not-for-sale promo copy; the single “Jelly” is r’n’b from outer space, the vocals are coming from a far off place while percussionist Eli Keszler provides for organic drumming – and creator Halo is conseuqently not to be found in the video. Halo displays her love for German expressions with the tracks “Arschkriecher” and “Nicht Ohne Risiko” – she definitely has humor, but she still does not want to be grasped.
Christina Mohr

Translation by Denise Oemcke. 

Kaput in conversation with Laurel Halo

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