Review

Lawrence

Gravity Hill

Smallville • 2024

Acts like Lawrence are something to be thankful for. No matter what artistic impasse club music finds itself in, the man from Hamburg floats calmly above it all and does his thing. So it is with the four-track EP »Gravity Hill«, which will probably be labelled »soothing« in English-speaking (online) record stores. Peter Kersten, as Lawrence is known in civilian life, has never claimed to be a spokesperson, but rarely has he sounded so focused, unwavering and determined in his minimalist approach. This doesn’t mean there’s no room for free thought. The opener and title track scatters shimmering surfaces and apathetic keys over a compact bassline with a straight hi-hat, appearing and disappearing as suddenly as they do. Time becomes a bourgeois category on the dancefloor. »Beaver« could be a Smallpeople release from the ’10s and also flirts with the confusing use of surfaces. Until it gets nice and the track loses its footing to ride on a rolling bassline. Similar yet different in approach. »Swamp« starts with juicy claps, lets its bassline find its way and seems a bit forced at first until discreet Rhodes keys are heard and everything goes its padded way: bells, warm-up, music-turned-timelessness, which is also radiated by the slightly faster »Stargazer«