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Laurel Halo

Quarantine

Laurel Halo
Skrillex might just be the best thing that has happened to dubstep. The co-opting of this electronic sub-genre by paint-by-numbers DJs has recently forced like-sounding artists to reinvent their style, resulting in some truly imaginative releases from underground artists. From the album art (featuring illustrations of ecstasy-engorged Japanese girls committing harakiri) to the actual material, Ann Arbor, MI native Laurel Halo combines glee and alienation on her debut full-length, Quarantine. Branching far from her mostly beat-driven EPs (her most recent was released under the moniker King Felix), Halo relies on atmospheric echo and ear-piercing, out-of-tune vocals to haunt tracks like the sinister "Joy" and the sweetly-tinged "Tumor." At times, there's a brand of sophistication to the random-ish arrangements of "Morcom" or "Light + Space" that would make Grimes envious. But, concurrently, Halo possesses a desperate urge to seem musically heretical and unorthodox. It's this theme of genuine imperfection that allows Quarantine to come off as an exposed, wounded masterwork. (Hyperdub)
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