Sven Laux – Homesickness or Nostalgia (Microcosm)


With a title straight out of the hauntological handbook one might have expected Sven Laux’s Homesickness or Nostalgia to be an exercise in Burial-esque crackle and sadness, but the nostalgia seems to point closer, back a mere ten years or so, to the height of glitchy microhouse. Since then CPUs have gotten bigger, enabling Laux to stuff his tracks with greater amounts of digital fizz and clamour, but these nine tracks remain lithe and limber, like the Perlon of yore.

Being on Ezekiel Honig’s Microcosm label they’re more subdued than standard house, but tougher than Honig’s own productions. In ‘Old Tim Radio’ springs, filtered drills and rhythmic scrapes jostle, like broken clock parts, around clipped drums, as do chipmunk titters, squeaks and vinyl scratches in ‘Homesickness’. ‘Jebediah’s Liquor Store’ is jerkier, like Akufen or Twerk, while ‘Lost Translation’ employs heavier bass and rhythm, hiccupping vocals and whirring blips. This formula doesn’t change – “frenzied-yet-softened flurries of electronics buzzing around a steady 4/4 thud’ – and while each track possesses its own character, nine versions is exhausting.

Joshua Meggitt


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