Lawrence: Divided
Spectral Sound

It takes little more than seconds to identify Peter Kersten's Lawrence material, so distinctive and elegant is its sound. On the Hamburg resident's latest 12-inch Divided, the three tracks are as meticulously arranged as ever, with layer upon layer appearing in controlled incremental manner. A soft, willowy synth melody inaugurates the title track before a funky skip appears, followed by dark, off-beat stabs that seemingly melt before one's eyes, and the tune dreamily strolls through silken synthesizer fields as it makes its way towards its destination. Punctuated by rhythmic stabs and a half-time goosestep, “Forever Anna” hits a bit heavier than the prototypical Lawrence track but once those customary gorgeous melodies come tinkling into view there's no doubt we're in familiar territory. This apparent love-letter to the titular Anna gradually achieves lift-off once the central theme kicks in and takes the rest of the track along for the ride, resulting in a concluding two minutes that are particularly blissful. Anything but explosive, the closer “Blow Up” opts for serenity and sparkle in its marriage of whistling synth formations and funky beat minimalism. Though Divided may present a slightly heavier and darker side of Lawrence 's music, the material retains the wistful and elegant spirit that generally characterizes the Dial manager's output.

January 2009