Illusion by Lawrence


Lawrence | Illusion
Dial (2xLP/CD)

Out this week is the eighth full-length recording since 2002 from Berlin’s Lawrence (Peter M. Kersten) – here appearing on Dial for the first time since 2013, the label he helped co-found back in Y2K. Illusion is saturated in bubbly, fun sonic electronics. The cover art by Robin Bruch, with its colorful neo-geo forms, plays well here. This sense of playfulness melts right into Crystal which forecasts the upbeat setting for an incredibly beat-laden, feel good techno on Treasure Box. People, we need a good dose of these free-form sway style beats in our day-to-day schedule – today, tomorrow and next week. Get off your devices, and turn up the funky sound embedded throughout these grooves. The title cut has thumping bpms, but he’s also playing with chimerical layers that cascade in the background, manipulating a tight production.


The melodic bits play like a slow guide, elusively in the pocket of a bold foreground of funky delights that emerge as Yu Yu. Oh, believe me, this one will help you lose your train of thought in no time. I know I’ve seen Lawrence play live at some point in the past, but he’s honestly revised his sound since I last caught up with him, a sound with the sort of resonance that has this intense warm-up feel that it goes to the tips of your nerves and just allows the drop in every day cabin pressure. Transitions feels like a quasi send-up of ESG, without the charismatic vocals, instead he’s deployed these crystalline synth effects and that steady programmable drumkit flair that have a certain retro edge.

Dark Swirl is a bit more gritty and on the down low. This is post-midnight lords and ladies. The mix offers dazzling psychedelic effects with rounded corners at every angle. In ways Montreux lays lack-lustre, slightly repetitive, compared to the other engaging tracks here, like a passageway rather than a fully evolved individual piece. Lawrence ends on Creepers, and this one floats on one channel while beating towards the future on another. He’s arranged the percussive elements in a shifting, chunky style, sometimes overlapping uniquely, distracting any programming formula. And when he adds the Jamaican steel drum effects I’m all in, in fact, I want to engage in a real blow-up mix of a piece like this that goes full-on old school dub!  The plot ends with exploratory notes of reverb and cosmic dissonance. One for the long haul!

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