Laurel Halo: Dust (Hyperdub) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, April 16th, 2024  

Laurel Halo



Jun 26, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

With Dust, Laurel Halo lays stakes in a perfect middle ground between the bent art-pop, thumping house, and maximalist musique-concrete-as-IDM of her prior work, but achieves this by allowing fractures to show, letting components sit side by side without ever forcing them to fit together sensibly. Beats ebb and flow, jerk and disappear; melodies blow in only to drift off or get tattered beyond recognition; bubbly dance beats sidle up next to haunted, stumbling songcraft. Halo’s layered, yet largely unadorned, vocals are back in full force here after a break on previous record In Situ, and they’re more essential than ever, doing the heavy lifting to turn skittering shards of free improv and squiggly collage into sturdy songs.

Really, it’s remarkable that any of it works at all. Rarely, if ever, has an artist made such a broad array of inputsArthur Russell’s alien melodies, Pierre Schaeffer’s heady tape jumble, post-Ghostly house music, Richard D. James’ undanceable dance music, the crushing intimacy of Karen Dalton and Judee Sill, and even the ebullience of vintage Madonnasound destined to be together. That Dust offers as much while also feeling like Laurel Halo’s most cohesive work to date is almost a minor miracle. (

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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