Philippe Laurent ‎– Mithra


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Philippe Laurent ‎– Mithra
Label: Peripheral Minimal ‎– PM12
Format: Vinyl, 12", 45 RPM, EP, Limited Edition 
Country: UK
Released: 17 Apr 2015
Style: Synth-pop, Minimal, Electro, Techno

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While a newcomer to the label, Laurent is an established multi-media artist well-known for his work in fields ranging from plastic arts and music to graphic and digital codes. He has been active in the electronic music scene for decades, first emerging from the French underground in the early 1980s. However, in recent years, his music has been discovered by a whole new audience of appreciative listeners. This is due in large part to key reissues and new releases of Laurent's archival material, beginning with his popular 2011 full-length vinyl LP on U.S. label Minimal Wave, which was followed by releases around the globe on labels such as Electric Voice, Girouette, and Serendip. 

While Laurent historically has executed much of his musical production under the pseudonym Hot-Bip (a name also used as the title of a 1983 cassette release), the Mithra EP is presented instead under his given name. The four-song release, which is comprised entirely of new material from the present day, includes two different versions of the title track as well as two versions of "La Tentation de Saint Antoine." Defying genre-specific categorization, these songs incorporate influences from techno, electro, and synth pop while sounding starkly contemporary and capturing a beautiful subtlety of sound. 

Philippe Laurent's general approach to art is one of research, specifically in addressing perception of signs and symbols. In conjunction with this research, he has always remained open to new technologies, whether composing musical works or creating graphic designs. This tendency is on full display in the Mithra EP, where complex electronic sound design creates a densely synthesized backdrop for hard-hitting, dancefloor-friendly beats. All of this is accompanied by unusual vocal additions – both human and otherworldly – that range from ethereal whispers to robotic, Kraftwerk-styled enunciations. 

With the Mithra EP, Philippe Laurent has created resolutely original electronic music for modern times. Indeed, the EP reveals an artist with an incredible history working at the height of his impressive skills. The release is available July 28, 2015, in both digital and vinyl formats. The latter is presented in a limited edition of 500 copies on grey solid-colored vinyl, with a sleeve designed by Laurent himself and Oleg Galay. 

-Jacob Schoenly / Spatial Relation 

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