- Peter Kersten is a master of delicate moments—moments that are personal but also universal. This explains the enduring appeal of his music. The Hamburg artist has become a seemingly never-ending source for the gently groovy deep house that defines labels like Dial (which he co-founded) and Smallville, and over the years he's quietly stretched that formula from downtempo diversions to club sets. His latest, A Day In The Life, feels a little different from his past efforts: it's fully beatless and rather short, a record made up of just those perfect Lawrence moments.
It takes a few listens for most of A Day In The Life to sink in, and once it does, its parts feel more like faint impressions than songs proper. Some are more assertive than others: "Nowhere Is A Place" and "Blue Mountain" both feel like distant echoes of classic Lawrence, where his unmistakable melodies ripple as if they were caught up in some distant, unheard groove. There's a certain beauty to the starker, less obvious tracks, too, like the way "Lucy, Lucy" blossoms from a murmur into a love song.
Dynamics play a big role. With no rhythmic chassis to ground the music, Kersten's melodies are thrown into stark relief. In a review of last year's Films & Windows, Kristan Caryl noted that the album's colorful nature was understated by "muted hues and faded neon trails." Those tones are still Kersten's stock-in-trade, and here they're more vivid than ever.
At just 40 minutes and with few pronounced standouts, A Day In The Life is an ephemeral record that always feels like it's slipping out of your fingers. That elusive quality makes it all the more addictive, beckoning you to go back and re-listen to discover it all over again. Far from just a regular Lawrence album with the drums taken out, it feels more like a serene coffee break in the middle of a busy career—a moment of relaxation that won't go on forever, but is nice while it lasts. For an artist whose biggest achievements revolve around subtlety and refinement, it shouldn't be surprising that A Day In The Life turned out as well as it did—Lawrence records have always had a way of sneaking up on you.
02. A Day In The Life
03. Lucy, Lucy
04. Nowhere Is A Place
08. The Visit
09. Dreams Are Dead
10. Blue Mountain
12. Lost In Joy