Review: Laurel Halo's latest release was apparently inspired by her recent film score work for Amsterdam-based arts collective Metahaven. Certainly, it's a largely becalmed and beguiling collection, experimental in ethos but also cinematic in tone. It contains a sextet of instrumental pieces that vary in style and tone from the loopy, otherworldly creepiness of "The Sick Mind" and droning "Supine", where ambient chords and manipulated cello notes combine to create a druggy soundscape, to the slowly unfurling, widescreen epics that open and close the mini-album. These, particularly "Raw Silk Uncut Wood" are intensely picturesque and beautiful, with Halo subtly shifting between epic ambient passages and the kind of sweeping, string-laden musical movements that mark out the finest cinematic compositions.
Review: Belgian sound designer Yves De May has always operated on the fringes of techno and ambient. Ever since his debut on Sandwell District, this guy has been one of our favourite artists within the more experimental side of electronic music, and this third LP from the man himself comes courtesy of Latency, an excellent imprint for all things loose and sparse. As you'd imagine, the sounds on Bleak Comfort are shaped by emotion rather than functionality, meaning that the movement and arrangement of the tunes is created through cinematic waves of synths rather than pure beats. "Bleak Comfort" itself is a great example, where sporadic clicks and bleeps form intricate patterns or sounds that would fit perfectly into most techno-centric sets; this is the most relevant form of techno as of August 2018. Don't miss it. Quality-assured.