Raw Silk Uncut Wood
Berlin-based, American-born sound-artist and composer Laurel Halo loves skitterish percussion, tinkering pianos and strident textures. She loves jazz settings – and then totally fucking with them, and she creates the best movie soundtracks for non-existent movies. All of that is on display here on Raw Silk Uncut Wood – but overall this is her most ambient album. Bookended by two 10-minute sprawls, Raw Silk starts with the slow-moving synths of the opening track before Mercury has her re-imaginging The Necks at their finest, reducing the melody completely, it’s just one repeated chord with percussion fidgeting away in the background until it falls off entirely.
Quietude and The Sick Mind would not be out of place on anything Come To Daddy-era Aphex Twin, less about music, more about sound-collage.
And if they’re sound-collages, Supine should be the soundtrack not to a movie but to a kinetic sculpture.
Resolving the tension from the long opener is closing track, Nahbarkeit. Here we have soupy strings and textural percussion in a wash of synths – again it’s about slowing down time, stretching it, making melody a mere drone within an otherwise absence of rhythm. And then a purposeful and thoroughly cinematic fade.
Halo’s long been making wonderful creations but the work here is extraordinary. A great sampler if you’re previously uninitiated and a soaring masterwork for those already in the know.
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