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There is something undeniably alluring about the dystopic, especially for the artist. The post-apocalyptic vision is one that takes on a different form for any given individual, whether that is a return to some pre-technological primal land or a cold, machine-ruled age. It is the latter that LA producer Henry Laufer tends to favour in his work under the Shlohmo moniker. His first record in four years, Dark Red, is a trip through the wormhole to the Earth of the future. He doesn't say when, but Laufer indicates it will be less Planet of the Apes and far more the machine world of the Matrix.

Despite the album's title, Dark Red evokes a world void of colour. The ice-cold production only leaves room for varying shades of grey and black, except perhaps the occasional flickering white LED of some robotic monstrosity. It is an aesthetic that several producers seem to have taken an interest in in recent years. The last records from Clark, Sd Laika and Logos are similarly monochromatic, each characterised by a deep-space kind of cold. Dark Red, with its eerie synths and crisp beat structures, finds its home amongst the likes of the aforementioned. It doesn't really bring anything new to this icy sub-genre, but it certainly doesn't detract from it either.

As is often the case with anything that sounds futuristic, there is a distinct cinematic feel to Dark Red. Like Lapalux's latest release, this takes on a certain kind of retrospective futurism. Blade Runner-esque city-scapes abound, notably on 'Relentless' and 'Buried'. It is a theme that is so prevalent throughout the record that, like a film soundtrack, it's hard to determine the highs, lows and fluctuations of the record. That's not to say that the record all sounds the same, but without the visuals that such music seems to promise it can be difficult to remain engaged.

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