Laurel Halo & Hodge - Tru / Opal / The Light Within You

  • Melody-infused techno.
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  • On her last album, 2017's Dust, Laurel Halo worked with a range of artists, including Klein, Eli Keszler, Lafawndah and Michael Salu. When asked why she did so after working alone for so long, she said that "it can't hurt to try." But the album made clear she'd chosen her musical partners carefully. The same is true of Hodge, whose collaborators—Peverelist, Peder Mannerfelt and Randomer—have complemented his taste for physical, UK-leaning club wreckers. Halo's online mixes—particularly her Boiler Room set from last year—show that Hodge's tracks would fit nicely into one of her wide-ranging DJ sets. It makes sense, then, that the pair's first EP together was made along those lines. "Tru" and "Opal" might scan as straightforward for Livity Sound fanatics. Though their Bristol techno ingredients are familiar, the execution is rock solid. The melodies are especially strong—"Tru"'s dancing zither strings and "Opal"'s circular, needlepoint arps will spin plenty of heads. But as one of the stranger tracks in the Livity catalogue, "The Light Within You" is the EP's standout. "All good things come to me," goes the vocal, possibly sourced from a YouTuber's self-care mantra. (The filters seem to underline the vocal's stilted, unnatural tone.) But the music's celestial calm doesn't last. As atonal synth trails seep into the midrange, you might imagine a spa beginning to froth with mud, and the sour rave stabs help bring the track to a satisfying boil. Our lifestyle guru's loss is the dance floor's gain.
  • Tracklist
      A1 Tru B1 Opal B2 The Light Within You