AMN Reviews: Lauren Redhead – after (2021; Bandcamp)

Lauren Redhead has quietly amassed a portfolio of releases that are some of the most exciting and interesting examples of modern electroacoustic composition (read some of our previous reviews here, here, and here). She snuck in after right before the holidays, and thus it might have slipped by the radar for many.

The album is an EP-length set of remixes and reworkings of music that she wrote over the last two years. While several other musicians are credited, Redhead has amalgamized and processed their contributions to a point where any particular instrumentation can often be indiscernible. Unsurprisingly, it is important to listen to after with an appropriate level of volume, as there are details upon details in the mix.

The album begins with after after snow, a shifting mass of sound, mostly in the mid and higher registers. The effect of this roiling bundle of noises is disconcerting. Following is post praeludium, which features layers and drones from what appears to be an organ (and maybe some brass, wood, and/or stringed instruments – it is hard to tell). Despite its deliberate pace, the track exhibits a great deal of tension. The strangeness continues on après la poulpe, which features sculpted static and haunting vocalizations both sung and spoken. Wrapping up this short offering is womöglich, vielleicht, which also employs spoken voice but with looped metallic rubbing sounds and quiet drones.

The music of Lauren Redhead, is deep, complex, and unabashedly weird. She brings you into her alien world and you cannot help but be moved. Do not hesitate.