Local musician Laura Callier layers dark synth melodies and gritty and tinny beats to create moody, hushed tracks as Gel Set. Tonight, Callier celebrates the release of her cassette Microsoftcore XXXCell (Lillerne Tapes), a six-track collection that’s sinister, sensual, and even sometimes fun—unsurprisingly, the EP’s best moments happen when Callier
elicits those three feelings in a single song. On “All of the Pleasure” she takes sparse percussion samples—hand claps, fast and light motorik beats—resounding and gloomy synths, and whispered multitracked vocals and turns it into in a hypnotic pattern that becomes more intoxicating as she subtly toys with the song’s levels. Occasionally she’ll remove the synths and layered vocals from the track altogether, leaving a cold, barren, heartbeatlike rhythm. Later she’ll gradually add foggy “oohs” and “ahs” and sterile synth notes back into the stripped-down soundscape. It’s the dynamic with which she manipulates the mix that makes Callier’s output so haunting. Microsoftcore XXXCell sounds like a lone candle struggling to light a basement covered in metal; the pleasures come not in the center of the tiny fire but on the edge of the flame as it fights against the steely cold and barren darkness that closes in around it.
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