Monday, 28 September 2015

Music: Der Zyklus / Adrian Moore / Laurel Halo

What will the future sound like? That was decided decades ago in a collapsed city called Detroit, where the ghosts of former industrial glory were banished in blips and beats emanating from sonic scientists's laboratories...perhaps...or Berlin's brave new post-rock utopia a decade earlier...or the legendary studios of supreme boffinry born from tech progress in the 60s/50s WDR, Columbia-Princeton, the Phillips studio...back in time...zoom forward to now and Gerald Donald keeping faith with super-clean precision of how The Future typically looked and sounded in the popular imagination of the space age. Axonometric may be retro-futurist today, but to these ears it sounds a bright and brilliant as it ever did. Even funky, as on the slow robo-grind of Isometric Projection. I like to imagine Der Zyklus in his nuclear-proof bunker, isolated, immune to trends in music and intent on making his own future for as long as he's around.

Adrian Moore's Séquences et tropes on empreintes DIGITALes offers an alternate future, sonically-speaking, again it's in a tradition, this time electroacoustic, which like Der Zyklus has remained immune to trends because it's above and beyond's far off on another sonic planet, the gravitational pull of which is worth succumbing to, although it's easy to resist, this being sound rather than music...and we know how easy that is to dismiss...but you'd be stupid to do so...and you don't want to appear stupid, do you? Electroacoustic sound-makers aren't stupid; they're proper technicians who may not be much good at shopping, or cooking, although I don't want to suggest that of Alan Moore...but the impression I get is that they absolutely live for sound, the sounds in their heads transcribed by technology in fine can be heard on this selection from 2012/13/14 - but dates don't matter, except to signify the relevance, ongoing, of this artform, exemplified by Counterattack, which follows The Battle, but what kind of warfare is being conducted? Is it between brain cells? Or next century viral microbes in the war for our minds? Either way, Moore's creations will rearrange the stuff between your ears. Listen hear. Here's Adrian talking about what he does...

Laurel Halo's back - did you miss her? I did. Now she's In Situ (Honest Jon's records) and sounding fine, still wonky...wonkier than before, perhaps, which is good; she can't get too wonky for my liking and having shifted from Hyperdub perhaps she'll be even more free to create crazy rhythms, to go half-stepping away from anything like Techno (or whatever tag she's been saddled with) because, you know, she's worth it, more than being genre-bound, I mean. Some of the sounds are familiar - well, it all sounds like her, but a little more Out There, still with some bass bumps to boost the skittering percussion and still, to me, reminiscent of Stevie Wonder's fingers grafted onto those of Lonnie Liston Smith then transplanted to a robot space lady with the soul of Nina Simone - that sort of thing. Nah? The track Nah is a bundle of fun, like Autechre remixing The Commodores' Machine Gun (he says, half-jokingly). Time-splitting, rhythm-splicing Laurel's future is here and now, in her head and in yours if you know what's good for you. 


  1. I never took you for a Laurel supporter.

    1. Oh yes, I also support Chelsea FC, but don't hold that against me.


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