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Following several EPs on Hippos In Tanks and Honest Jon’s and three albums and two EPs on Hyperdub, Laurel Halo releases her new LP, Raw Silk Uncut Wood on Latency. The Berlin-based American electronic musician was inspired by a score for a Metahaven film and U.S. novelist, Ursula Le Guin’s translation of the 6th-century Chinese text Tao Te Ching. This blurry, contemplative and widescreen soundscape features cello by Oliver Coates and Eli Keszler on percussion.

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  • LTNC014 / LP on Latency

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Raw Silk Uncut Wood by Laurel Halo
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9/10 Ant Staff review, 19 July 2018

Ever evolving and pushing her sound in new directions, Laurel Halo’s new record is a real widescreen stunner. ‘Raw Silk Uncut Wood’ encompasses elements of smoky jazz and modern classical for a more organically rooted, intoxicating sound that really hits home when absorbed during the small hours.

Framed by two ten minute pieces, on the first of which - the gorgeous crepuscular opening title cut, it seems she’s feeling kinda blue, as though pondering, staring at the skies and receiving a telepathic transmission from beyond the stars. A comforting message that everything is gonna be okay. It’s a beautiful, soul-stirring track with moving blue organ keys and mournful cello from Oliver Coates. Eli Keszler provides skittering percussion splashes to the hypnotic chiming keys of ‘Mercury’ while the treated keys of ‘Quietude’ sound as though they’re floating and dancing to the surface of a moonlit pool. ‘The Sick Mind’ is at once delicate and intense with manic swirling and disorientating keys. ‘Nahbarkeit’ feels cinematic in scale - a majestic, graceful symphony of deeply emotive celestial strings, further elevated by Eli Keszler’s percussion working in perfect harmony.

The “real” and synthetic sounds on this album somehow seem to integrate and almost blur into one another in a really seamless way, like a beautiful watercolour painting, and so it’s occasionally difficult to tell where one sound ends and the other begins. There’s a slight restless energy to this record that feels as though we’re experiencing and processing thoughts in real time, yet even at is most intense, it just exudes serenity.


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