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Boomkat Product Review:
Laurel Halo naturally makes the transition into soundtrack composition with ‘Possessed’, supplying original music for a documentary by Dutch design studio Metahaven and Rob Schröder.
Featuring strings by Oliver Coates (cello) and LCO’s Galya Bisengalieva (violin), ‘Possessed’ follows the smokier themes of Laurel’s previous LP, ‘Raw Silk Uncut Wood’ with a beautifully lucid expansion of that side’s organic tone that crosses much deeper into contemporary and avant classical composition. Relatively straight-played string arrangements vacillate with more wanton experimental expressions, mixing virulent electronics with the application of virtuosic extended instrumental techniques to conjure a wide variety of tonal colour and moods that match the film’s existentialist themes.
In terms of atmospheric scope and effect, the music of ‘Possessed’ almost loops back to Laurel’s earliest works circa ‘Antenna’, ten years ago, effectively foregoing her signature techno and ambient-pop sound of the intervening decade to evoke a sense of futuristic sci-fi tension. But the addition of organic instrumentation tempers this aesthetic to bring the future within physical grasp of an impending present, locating a filigree mix of human presence and lurking artificiality in the process. While Laurel’s efforts patently stand up on their own, ‘Possessed’ also well serves its purpose as an advert for the film, which, if it’s anywhere near as strong as the music, must be worth a watch.