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Laurel Halo

DJ-Kicks

!K7
Laurel Halo  DJ-Kicks
The 68th (count 'em) mix in the DJ-Kicks series finds Hyperdub alumnus Laurel Halo in the rarified company of Four Tet, Carl Craig, Daniel Avery, Nina Kraviz, Maya Jane Coles, Moodymann, Kruder & Dorfmeister, and more recently Leon Vynehall, Kerri Chandler and Robert Hood. Making a DJ-Kicks album remains something of a rite of passage. Here, the Michigan-born, Berlin-dwelling producer appears unhindered by expectations, packing a dizzying 29 tracks into a taught and dramatic hour, taking in sturdy, looping techno, reverb-heavy big room dub, skittering, fierce electro, moments of calm, and moments of abject mayhem. There's dark machine music from Stallone the Reducer, pulsing vibrations from Parris and cascading arps from Rrose, leavened with Machinewoman's moody tech-jazz. And that's just the first ten minutes. Halo's own productions are front and centre too, notably a firing collab with Hodge, and the pounding ‘Sweetie’, with its razor-edged hats and glockenspiel tic-tocs. Dazzling. Nick Leon's ‘Pelican Dub’, an exclusive, is hands-in-the-air gear, and with a nod to the legends, Blake Baxter pitches up later too, Halo dropping his stone-cold classic ‘Funky World’ for UR. A worthy addition to a storied series that continues to enthrall.
8.5