Irish producer Eomac launched Eotrax last year with his own Temple of the Jaguar, an 11-minute exploration of techno’s outer fringes. For the label’s second release, he’s tapped an Irish producer from outside the traditional electronic spectrum. LAIR is an Irish producer with a background in the classical world. While at university she developed an interest in psychoacoustics and healing music, and that’s evident on this self-titled release. Opener “Invoke” begins with a solitary vocal exercise, which is in turn stretched amended, further lines joining the fray. A melange of wails and murmurs ebb and flow as that initial line is manipulated to chilling effect. “Meld” takes the listener deep underground, shrill echoes meeting a staid and straightforward backbone. Layers (excuse me) of sound are spread thick and thin, joining and separating like a nightmarish coin pusher game. Meld is given the remix treatment by Rrose, in which the artist takes the muted bones of the track and rolls them out over a rattling steady techno throb. The dull ache of the track is shattered by butterflies of sound that swirl above, which only serve to intensify feelings of confusion. Things take a different turn with “Searching In Circles”, which closes the record. The same wordless vocals abound, yet deft metallophones join the mix. There’s no sense that this is for any dance floor; instead, it lends a frantic, inquisitive air, invoking an imagining exploration through an unknown space.
Two digital tracks are available on top of the four on the 12″. The first, “Incant”, is a muffled and muted affair, tackling the same tropes – unbroken vocal samples and dank moods – yet expanding with rattling sheen and further forays into harmonic territory. Strange warbles also appear, perhaps the rattling of a brass mouthpiece, but forever disembodied and unknown. This track, perhaps because it is the most restrained and muted, calls for repeated listens, its eerie hum haunting and enchanting and, ultimately, soothing and addictive. Rrose also presents a second remix of “Meld”, a “Distillation” in fact. Naturally, this starts as a faint echo of both the original and the remix, layering sounds but never reaching the oppressive stomp that’s found on wax. These tracks are indeed a bonus, adding to our understanding and appreciation of the artists’ work. LAIR may not have been part of the techno world before now, but her inventive sonic approach finds a welcome and appropriate home on Eotrax.