Laurel Halo, Gatekeeper and Konx-Om-Pax - Knock Knock! (4 stars)

Laurel Halo, Gatekeeper and Konx-Om-Pax - Knock Knock!

Laurel Halo

Glasgow weekly clubnight assembles great bill of synth nostalgists

Among the current crop of hybrid synth nostalgists, the Dionysian headrush of rave is as much of an influence as obscure kosmische musik or brittle Nintendo bleeps, as exemplified at tonight’s weekly clubnight Knock Knock! by Michigan-born artist Laurel Halo. The liminal tracer trails of her crystalline synth glisten among the lo-fi sophistication and richness of her drum patterns. Her set of unfussy, constant forward-motion techno leaves enough space for the odd stylistic detour but never to the detriment of the thoroughly engaging set as a whole.

Next Brooklyn’s Gatekeeper channel their kill screen Giallo impulses through an embankment of laptops and effects, bolstered by a row of flashbulbs; the spartan stagecraft belying the punishing stomp of their upright take on Goblin’s sleaze-ridden leather stench. Their smart filtering of influences from the first wave of Detroit tech are delivered with the ramped-up intensity of a live soundsystem and all the gusto of Juan Atkins at his most dystopian.

The only downside of tonight’s Konx-Om-Pax DJ set is not being able to bask in his day-glo visuals (as seen in online videos he’s directed for Oneohtrix Point Never and Errors, for example). Still, he finishes the night with a satisfying curatorial soiree through smoked out disco; entropic, bare bones bass frequencies (by way of aquatic IDM) that climaxes with delirious amen break happy jungle.

Art School, Glasgow, Wed 11 May

Knock Knock

  • 4 stars

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