Aurora Halal, Passageway

[Mutual Dreaming Recordings]

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Aurora Halal is just now releasing her first solo tracks, but there’s a good chance you’ve encountered her work before. She has a heavy portfolio of distinctive, typically woozy videography, is the mastermind behind New York’s Mutual Dreaming parties, recorded as half of minimal synth duo Innergaze, and appeared on Journey I., still probably one of the most loved L.I.E.S. releases. Passageway follows up a split she did with the producer Haron on Dutch label BAKK, and mints the label branch of Mutual Dreaming.

That’s a lot of biography, and if her general involvement inspires lofty expectations, Passageway definitely meets them. Its tracks are plainly hardware jams — they are blunt, and not laboriously textured. But they are full of bounding, kinetic energy, and on several occasions, Halal shows she knows when to harness this. Midway through “Hazy G,” for example, when a croaked vocal underscores the rhythm’s infectiously slippery, rustling swing, and she just lets the groove ride out for awhile. Halal’s work is generally immediate, and even hectic at times, but it isn’t without nuance. There are other highs in the hypnagogic vocal synth on “Overpass,” or the seesawing, flanging skip on “Siren (Reprise).” Terrence Dixon’s remix of the former closes out the EP, and in his signature style he delivers a chill and considered counterpoint to Halal’s intensity. Both artists have an intuitive grasp of how to get dancers going, but Dixon’s approach suggests the floor more than it inhabits it, sounding svelte, if discombobulated, next to Halal’s frisky aggression.


Aurora Halal, Passageway – Little White E...  on March 27, 2014 at 12:17 PM

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