Spring Spring

EPs

King Felix King FelixSpring

7.3 / 10

“Spring” is an EP that sheds light on several important things. First, if we go to the fine print, the birth of Liberation Technologies, a new label associated with Mute. It's not a sub-label, and is therefore reclaiming the old original idea of NovaMute as a platform for releasing solid contemporary techno talents - which seems to be starting off on the right foot. Secondly, the alias that Laurel Halo plans to use from now on (whom we had only heard before on the label Hippos In Tanks, and on the occasional remix here and there) for her more danceable material - that directed by bursts of nervous rhythm - while the original project will remain for developing a more ambient sound bordering on pop. “Spring” is also a logical evolution that Laurel Halo’s latest steps seemed to be asking for: to get rid of certain baggage implied by her connection with hypnagogue pop and the new cosmic wave, and to be able to jump into the pool that she likes the best, that of techno and rave. King Felix is an alias that comes from her first EP, but which also stretches the elastic of the second, “Hour Logic”, where Laurel Halo entered into the terrain of house, techno and speed garage.

“Spring” is a suite divided into three fragments of solemn synths and very agitated rhythmic developments: “Spring01” starts with the fanfare typical of Ryuichi Sakamoto, but it is quickly invaded by a footwoork break that leaves you with the feeling of strong contrasts, calmness underneath and volcanic explosion above. The second cut, “Spring02”, is less audacious, although easier to process, as it takes the usual register of nostalgic Detroit techno, with plenty of ethereal layers and a dub beat underneath that gives the cut definite consistency, somewhere between cotton and cement. “Spring03” is a long reprise of the first song, with more rhythmic fractures typical of Chicago juke. It also works as a sauna – the contrast between hot and cold – with “Freak”, the final track, which is completely ambient. It might not be the best that Laurel Halo can aspire to in her new danceable incarnation, but without a doubt this first 12” from King Felix is a very successful start and leaves very good feelings.

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