Laurel Halo @ Headrow House

Laurel Halo, the Berlin-based experimentalist, is arguably one of the most enigmatic women in electronic music right now. Released in July of this year, her third album ‘Dust’ is an all-encompassing piece of art, showcasing her individuality as well as alluding towards her Detroit-techno influences.

A purple glow ensues Halo, who appears unfazed by the crowd as she steadily focuses on preparing her set. The small but concentrated crowd watch entranced as Halo begins her performance, with the strong sense we’re witnessing an art installation rather than a music set. And that’s exactly what it is; a beautifully expressive show bordering between eerie ambient sounds and playful twinkling chimes.

The show begins with an extended version of ‘Arshkriecher’ off the new album, with the thrilling combination of ritualistic gongs and sci-fi sounds both strangely hypnotic and perhaps carrying the message of combining the present with the past. We are graced with Halo’s voice on a particular melancholic track which is primarily raw vocals on an ambient surface, creating a particularly emotive atmosphere, whereas on the other tracks such as ‘Who Won’, the voice is distorted into a cyborg chant.

Halo never strays from her own sounds, which the crowd embraces. Each song flows into the next in a sequence of moody grooves and glowing synths. Her stage presence is particularly enchanting, connecting with the audience with everything but her eyes- the aura she has created with her hypnotic music being enough.

Esme Bennet

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