Podcast 321: Laurel Halo
- Words: Shawn Reynaldo
- Photo: Ismini Adami
It wasn't all that long ago that XLR8R first profiled Laurel Halo. After hearing her woozy, 4AD-esque King Felix EP, we did a small feature in January 2011 for a series that was then known as Bubblin' (these days, we call it Bubblin' Up), and we've been keeping a close eye on the Michigan-raised, Brooklyn-based producer ever since. In truth, her path hasn't always been an easy one to chart, as Laurel Halo has never been an artist who lingers in one musical space for too long. 2011's Hour Logic EP focused on drifting sonics, abstract beat structures, and manipulations of Halo's voice, while last year's Quarantine, her debut LP for Hyperdub, eschewed drum programming entirely while offering a series of leftfield, vocal-driven creations that were ostensibly pop, albeit in the most adventurous way possible. 2013 has seen another creative left turn, as the Behind the Green Door EP found Halo leaving the vocals behind and digging into techno, and that excavation has continued with Chance of Rain, her new full-length that dropped just a few weeks ago. Given that Laurel Halo has traversed so much musical territory with her own productions, we figured that her taste in other people's music would be equally intriguing, and asked her to put together an exclusive mix for the XLR8R podcast series. Much like her new album, the mix is loosely rooted in techno, although there's nothing particularly straightforward about the music on offer. With 24 tracks in a little more than 48 minutes, Halo isn't shy about quick transitions or short asides, and the podcast certainly contains its fair share of twisted soundscapes, noisy interludes, and off-kilter beatwork. At the same time, the mix's diverse sound palette and willingness to engage with the experimental are both key tenets of Halo's own music, which quite possibly explains why it's such an engaging listen.
01 Rahsaan Roland Kirk "Something for Trane That Trane Could Have Said (Edit)" (Atlantic)
02 Escola de Samba da Cicade "Improvisos na Batucada" (Philips)
03 Madteo "Pram Reset" (Morphine)
04 TCB "Unchained (KM/MM Mix)" (Die Orakel)
05 Subsaharan Spaceways "Shout (Two For Marion)"
06 Population One "B2 (from A Simpler Form)" (Reduction)
07 Matrix "Isthmus #Fast" (Chain Reaction)
08 Jam City "Water Edit"
09 Boo Williams "Mistical Journey" (Chiwax)
10 Ken Nordine "Flesh" (Philips)
11 Blk_out "Sergecutty"
12 Mass Prod & Herva "Mike vs Speak & Overdub As a Weapon Against Modern Laptop Wanking" (Kontra Musik)
13 Smith N Hack "No Gimmicks, No Flash" (Smith N Hack)
14 Sleeparchive "7" (Tresor)
15 Laurel Halo "NOYFB (Acapella)" (Hyperdub)
16 Charles Manier "Octopus" (Nation)
17 Vester Koza "Maslo 03B" (Maslo)
18 Dalglish "Donsfe" (PAN)
19 NSNT PRJCT "We Invented Dis" (Wild Oats)
20 Ken Ishii "Stretch (Regenerated)" (R&S)
21 Ter(r)a "Underwater Vessel (OH/FFU Edit)"
22 Dresvn "A2 (from Acido 014)" (Acido)
23 Claude Young presents Golem Craft "B2 (from the Of Ages EP)" (Fracture)
24 Factory Floor "Turn It Up (Laurel Halo Remix)" (DFA)
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