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.
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.