There is a word in German that famously does not translate into English: waldeinsamkeit. Roughly, it means “forest solitude”; the feeling of being intimately alone with nature, and coldly content.
This goes about half-way to explaining the images and emotions that arise when listening Arp Laud’s new EP, ‘Melting Lizard Point’. Arp Laud certainly creates an organic soundscape, but it’s such a self-evidently mechanical one as well. The listener may report feelings of being happily lost in a hardware-maze; a melancholic analogue wilderness, beautiful and alien.
This dichotomy of sound will come as no surprise for those who know Arp Laud; an analogue hardware-nerd, yes, but also a gifted multi-instrumentalist – as at ease modulating his Roland electronics as he is gracefully jamming on his flute.
The ethereal pads of ‘Plastic Head’, the A1 track of the EP, slowly build around swarming bleeps and laser-synths to immediately establish Arp Laud’s detailed aural world. The room filling kicks and vicious electro-funk snares compliment the mellower melodic elements of the tune, keeping it both deep and danceable; artistic and functional.
By track A2, the sound of the EP takes on a more stripped-down aesthetic. ‘Sinto’s’ stabbing synths dart around the colourful bleeps of the electronic landscape, whilst the acid timbres of ‘Eau Claire’ are modulated to the point of tearing apart.
However, it is the final, B2 track called ‘Salt Fields’ where the machine-soul philosophy of the EP is truly realised. Twinkling synths recall some sort of twisted adult lullaby, whilst industrial kicks and steely percussion pound the ear drums to a tender peak. Meanwhile, reverb-heavy, swirling vocal samples bounce around the mix, like some half-remembered nitrous oxide trip that seemed really important, once upon a time – it’s a combination that shouldn’t work but ends up balancing so perfectly, to the effect of an ambivalently emotional centre – it’s a sound that leaves you battered and bruised, but one that you won’t soon forget.
Melting Lizard Point is the first release from Cornwall based electronic musician Arp Laud. Vinyl orders are expected to begin shipping December 14.