The dis­placed mid­west­erner on her ‘black box’ record­ings

UNCUT - - New Albums - pIers marTIn

“in­ever re­ally set out to write a pop song, it’s more that I set out to write a good song,” says Lau­rel Halo as she seeks to un­ravel the mys­ter­ies sur­round­ing her lat­est al­bum, Dust. The 31-year-old pro­ducer, born in Michi­gan and res­i­dent in Ber­lin, has long been a cult con­cern cour­tesy of two hal­lu­cino­genic al­bums for Hyper­dub, Quar­an­tine (2012) and Chance Of Rain (2013), and a ca­reer that blurs the art/rave di­vide. Rein­ing in her sci-fi ten­den­cies, Dust is a more earthy af­fair full of twists and turns, as Halo saun­ters be­tween busted jazz and un­ortho­dox grooves. “I knew I wanted to in­cor­po­rate words and acous­tic in­stru­ments, and have it be loose, mel­low and open-feel­ing, but that’s about it,” she says. Dust took shape dur­ing her two-week res­i­dency one Jan­uary at the Ex­per­i­men­tal Me­dia and Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter in up­state New York. “It was bit­terly cold out­side and I was deep in­side a gi­ant black box run­ning var­i­ous per­cus­sion sounds through ef­fects chains. I read Oc­tavia But­ler, drank by my­self in the evenings and ate ran­dom food. Plus I recorded with a lot of dream in­stru­ments I hadn’t had ac­cess to be­fore, like a Disklavier and vi­bra­phone, and a beau­ti­fully mic’d drum kit.

“My hope,” she adds, “is that Dust helps peo­ple process their shit the way it helped me to.”

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