Inspired by Steve Reich, Detroit techno, a six-month stint in Thailand, and science fiction, Laurel Halo crafts lush, electronic avant-pop that is as theoretical as it is playful. An Ann Arbor, Michigan native and Brooklyn resident, Halo began playing piano at age six and added guitar and violin to her repertoire while still a child. However, she didn’t begin composing until she was 19, using not only the classical theory of her childhood but her fascination with translating geometric shapes like arcs and domes into music and the sounds she absorbed as a free-form DJ at the University of Michigan’s radio station WCBN as touchstones for her work. She released several EPs from 2006 to 2009, including The Future Fruit and 2009’s Ambrosia EP (from which two songs were remixed by Mogi Grumbles a year later). Halo's breakthrough release, however, was 2010’s King Felix EP. Inspired by Philip K. Dick's novel VALIS, the EP was released by Hippos in Tanks -- also home to GAMES, Sun Araw, and Oneohtrix Point Never -- which she wrote, arranged, performed, and produced on her own. Halo maintained a busy schedule; she collaborated with her labelmates GAMES and issued another Hippos in Tanks EP, Hour Logic, in 2011. The following April, she issued the three-track 12" Spring, the inaugural release for Mute's Liberation Technologies subsidiary, as King Felix. The disquieting album Quarantine arrived two months later on Hyperdub.
by Heather Phares