Starting out a few years ago promoting parties in Brooklyn under the name Mutual Dreaming, Aurora Halal has put on some of the most exciting names in underground techno and house. Having Galcher Lustwerk, Florian Kupfer and Andres among the club night’s alumni, last year she then moved to collaborating with Zara Wladawsky on Sustain-Release, an upstate New York festival that boasted a similarly minded line up to her club nights. It wasn’t until then that Halal decided to start putting out her own tracks on vinyl as well, first collaborating with both Haron and Ital on 12”s before setting up a home for solo material.
As well as being the name of her club night, Mutual Dreaming is also the name of Halal’s record label. Its first release came from Halal herself, Passageway, a dark, thudding techno effort. The name of the label is fitting because Aurora Halal’s music takes you to another place – it’s techno to zone out to, echoed vocal snippets and entrancing loops lulling you into a daydream state. The feeling is reflected in how Halal chooses to name her projects, with tracks such as “Disassociate” and “Sleep Distortion” in her back-catalogue.
Creating the effect of a trip, swirling, sticky sounds slowly build up and when Halal deals with vocal samples, half-conscious, hazy words are spoken as if not quite all there. This presence of a dream state feels even more prominent on new EP Shapeshifter. It’s only on second track “Death of The Real” that we hear a more pronounced human voice, maybe Halal’s own, saying what sounds ominously like “I am the devil”, morphing into mumbling echoes after each repetition.
Every loop and pattern that’s established on the EP fades and reappears into consciousness, growing stronger with each pulse but there is no climax point, each track takes you on a steadily building journey. Where her first Mutual Dreaming release brought sub-bass and kick drums to the fore while incorporating noise, Shapeshifter takes a slightly more subtle approach but with just as much impact. Equal measures hypnotic and eerie, the sonic world of trippy techno that Aurora Halal creates with Shapeshifter is calling out to be played for introspective moments lost on the dancefloor with eyes closed, unaware of everyone around you.
A2. Death of Real
B2. Sleep Distortion
B3. Just Tell Me