- Lawrence is an artist best enjoyed patiently over the duration of an album. The more house-bound project of Hamburg's Peter Kersten (whose other activities include friskier dance-floor fare as Sten, abstract hip-hop as Lloyd and slow-core guitar ambiance as Bordeaux), Lawrence productions are characterised by lazy tempos, spacious rhythms, bright bell-like tones and a keen sense of (minor-keyed) melody, fitting neatly into the catalogues of Kompakt and Dial. On albums ‘The Absence of Blight’ and ‘The Night Will Last Forever’ Kersten wore his indie-miserablism on his sleeve, with successive tracks falling like raindrops on a misty windshield: subtle variants on the same, monochromatic model. There's little variation in either pace, mood or basic components used, but wallowing in these grey shadings is joyously indulgent.
His latest release, ‘Lowlights From the Past and Future’, is collection of singles, b-sides and remixes, and what it suffers from in less cohesive programming, it compensates with in quality. His mix of Antonelli's 'The Morning' is worth admission alone: dark grey pads lifted straight from the Twin Peaks theme growl down low while rattled handfuls of chipped china provide the top-end. There's also a pogoing up-down bassline, sparse, functional drums and a melody of fractured rave keys, all seductively moody and gloriously assembled. Egoexpress' 'Aranda' receives similar treatment, moving from gloomy atmosphere into pseudo-acid bounce, where each element is made to seem entirely necessary. His mix of Superpitcher's microgoth anthem ‘Happiness’ makes the concept more elusive than ever, losing the urgency in favour of a nihilistic hopelessness, conjured from dying tape loops, off-kilter chimes and weeping dub tones.
With tracks like 'Swap' and 'Spark' Kompakt have returned the favour, their mournful funk fittingly showing up on mixes by Superpitcher, Michael Mayer and Tobias Thomas, but even they'd be reluctant to feature the adolescent whine of Turner's 'My Aeroplane Mania', left far too intact to excite. 'Lowlights From the Past' is itself hardly a highlight, feeling spare to the point of blandness, while 'If You Can't Understand' left me confused, but these reservations are few and petty, and this collection - like the whole Lawrence back-catalogue - can be highly recommended.
1 Lawrence - Friday's Child
2 Lawrence - Spark
3 Superpitcher - Happiness (Lawrence Remix)
4 Lawrence - If You Cant Understand
5 Lawrence - Further
6 Antonelli - The Morning (Lawrence Remix)
7 Turner - My Aeroplane Mania (Lawrence Remix)
8 Lawrence - Swap
9 Lawrence - Lowlights From The Past
10 Egoexpress - Aranda (Lawrence Remix)
11 Lawrence - Untitled