Lawrence

Lawrence

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AllMusic Review by

Peter Kersten fuses the true-blue tech-house abstractions of Theo Parrish with a little dash of the cinematic side of Kenny Dixon, Jr.'s productions and puts his own Germanic spin on house for his bewitching debut LP on Hamburg's Ladomat 2000 label. Many of these 15 untitled tracks could qualify as goth-house, as they pair lurching 4/4 rhythms with simple but effective keyboard vamps that are too unsettling and haunting to avoid. A lullaby-like quality pervades throughout another handful of tracks, with twisted melodies twinkling away as if they're emanating from a defective kiddie-crib mobile. Nursery rhymes are replaced with gradual suspense-building sequences from thriller film scores; it's all in the name of paranoia and fraught nerves. The tenth track is the most creeped-out moment of the album: With a mid-tempo sliding shuffle of a beat accentuated by nervously tapping percussion and a synthesized smear of strings, it could only be the soundtrack for a scene where the protagonist is followed by his or her stalker down a damp, dimly lit street on a humid night. Kersten hardly relies on the same tricks, managing to convey all of these dark moods with varied means. Track 13 is another highlight, managing to be dismal -- make that downright glum -- and sublime at the same time. This is a house record free of euphoria, stripped bare of any sense of release -- body music that speaks directly to your tensed-up shoulders instead of your hips. Like an impending murder scene, you can't help but throw yourself at its mercy. Stunning.

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