Lawrence, Sorry Sun

[Smallville Records]

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Lawrence’s mellifluous, relaxed style can just as easily dazzle and impress as it can fade into languid, unadventurous pap, dangerous territory for someone with as much released material as Peter M. Kersten. Deep house with softly pattering beats, strings, and gentle piano accents, it’s a sound that could occupy the most transcendent and memorable moments of a rave, or maybe pipe soothing strains through your dentist’s office. It’s a problem that has occasionally surfaced in Lawrence’s discography but one thankfully dispelled in the German producer’s latest EP for Smallville Records.

Sorry Sun is Lawrence’s first full EP for the renowned Hamburg label, and it features the classy and invitingly warm qualities that define the Smallville sound. It’s a warmth that rejuvenates and refires: “Just Like Heaven” pairs a lightly shuffling beat — including an ever-so-ravey hi-hat — with a slightly jumpy, gritty bass line, as piano scales transiently float through all manner of glittering beacons. It’s simple, effective, and works every fiber of its being — from its ethereality and physicality to its self-conscious beauty — into an admirable piece of vivid club impressionism. Focusing itself around a looped piano sample, “Old Joy” explores the same dynamic of club-ready rapture, its monstrous sub-bass threatening to rupture and capsize the gently lapping groove at every turn, all held in place by a tenaciously ticking rhythm section and a syrupy glaze of strings. Stuck all on its lonesome on the b-side, “Sorry Sun” lashes out, foregoing the landscaping for down-and-dirty grooving. The bass line practically whispers profane sweet nothings over a stiffly jacking beat as it slowly builds into a shimmering, glossed blur cruising through an eclipsed sky, elongated organ chords landing like drops on a windshield and complete with a gorgeous clearing in the clouds that lasts for a mesmerizing few bars. As each track plays out, they envelop and ensconce, an immersive deep house sound that goes so far beyond a pretty face. Sorry Sun is not your typical Lawrence release, and given the generally high standard of Lawrence releases, that’s got to mean something.

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