Laurel Halo: Behind The Green Door – EP review

Laurel Halo – Behind The Green Door EP (Hyperdub)
Vinyl/DL
20 May 2013

7.5/10

Following on from her December EP, Laurel Halo releases four more tracks. Louder Than War’s Paul Scott-Bates gives us his thoughts.

On the face of it this is quite a stark change of style from the last Laurel Halo EP release, ‘Sunlight ON The Faded’ which was a very accessible and catchy number. The ‘Behind The Green Door’ (great title, by the way) is slightly more experimental and less immediate.

Opener, Throw, has a piano riff constant throughout the track, a house track but without the percussion. Occasionally, slipping up a key, on first listen it can sound out of tune and almost improvised, in fact, all the tracks on this EP could have the same comment made.

Listening to them as standalone tracks could be difficult, but, when played in sequence the tracks work and begin to achieve some cohesion. It’s a grower, and, you if you have any musical intelligence then you’ll give this three or four listens before making up your mind.

Uhffo is quite a different affair with a pumping drumbeat from the off and obligatory random sounds, whilst Noyfb gives a far more urban dance feel spinning off at tangents and introducing new effects constantly.

The highlight of the EP is closer, Sexmission, starting with a looped soundbite before turning into a more conventional dance sound. A more involved track but breaking off time and time again to display more experimentation.

The stripped back ambient feel is interesting. Just enough to keep you with it, but, sufficient space to be able to recognise different sounds and scales.

It’s also ambitious enough to be given well-rewarded praise. Laurel is never one to stand still and whilst we have artists like her continuing to push the boundaries, our appreciation of an often dying UK dancefloor scene can be given a timely injection. A grower.

The Laurel Halo website is here. You can follow her on Twitter here and do Facebook things here.

All words by Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found here. Paul’s website is Heaven Is A Place On Pendle. Paul has been working hard to save Radio Lancashire’s On The Wire, easily one of the best radio shows on the BBC. Follow him on twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news or follow his personal twitter, @hiapop.

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