In June of this year, Amsterdam based artist Paul Laurens debuted his first release on bandcamp, plainly titled “001.” With a two-month gap between each EP, Laurens has since released “002″ and most recently “003,” setting the bar higher and higher with each output. While his self-releases have yet to reach the top of the charts, the quality of his productions is consistent and noteworthy, and proven through some of his career highlights, including getting a track played by Ben Klock during Photon’s 2020 live stream. In his “003” release, Laurens incorporates some house and acid flavors into his otherwise purely hypnotic techno sound. The result is exquisite.
The first of three tracks, titled “Verocious,” starts off with a thumping kick and a dreamy pad. This sweet and uplifting intro is somewhat of a misnomer, as a short and bendy acid line takes precedence. Growing slowly and steadily, the acid line steals the show, playfully warping and stretching in all of its elastic glory, the track maintains a stripped-back, playful energy that feels consistent yet ludic. The slightest of changes to the short, muted, and repeating acid line, and suddenly we’re hooked.
The second track, “Symbio,” diverges into a more tribal direction. A groovy conga pattern is heavily filtered to blend in with kick, making the beat’s foundation more loose and complex. In this track, Laurens’ expert use of gradual, steady progression is on full display and feels like a perfect track to mix with. Loose shakers and a dainty, heavily delayed bleep sound, like that of a submarine’s radar on the fritz, add color and detail to an otherwise consistent, yet highly danceable foundation. This track feels reminiscent of techno from a previous decade, but without sounding outdated or stale.
Closing things out is the cool and mysterious track, “Tyranny.” Haunting strings reverberate in and out of dissonance, while a combining kick and bass bop and pump. A late night house inspired stab prances around in the offbeat, and builds towards the introduction of an unexpected vocal sample, that speaks of plotting and tyranny. While the dialogue of the sample neither makes nor breaks the track, it demonstrates Lauren’s scope and versatility, while complimenting the moodiness of his sound.
We can expect to hear more quality three-track EPs from Paul Laurens in the coming months, each with a diverse smattering of flavors from other genres sprinkled in. The three-track structure of his releases lends to Laurens’ desire to explore different styles while keeping his overall sound delightfully consistent. There’s a reason why Paul Laurens’ music is receiving high praise, and it likely has much to do with his ability to explore new avenues, while maintaining a precise, tried and tested foundation.
You can support Paul Laurens with a digital download of “003” via his Bandcamp page, linked above.
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