Gábor Lázár – Boundary Object
Few artists can lay claim to as diverse of a discography as Hungary’s Gábor Lázár, who’s as much at home making serpentine pieces of sound art as he is creating mutant reggaeton. 2020’s Source, his first album for Planet Mu, took his inherent abstraction in the direction of footwork and looped breakbeats, playing with the style by way of distinct and off-kilter choices. Boundary Object, his second record for the label, pivots in the opposite direction. A collection of what are arguably sketches rather than fully realised tracks, Boundary Object is an intriguing look into Lázár’s mind and process.
All eight tracks on the album were recorded in real time over the course of two years by way of a production interface of Lázár’s own design. They are presented unedited, and for the most part play out as improvised experiments on structure and form. The music here often begins as something familiar, before warping into something increasingly more conjectural. As each track plays out, it’s layers twist and fall away to zone in on specific elements or contradict them all together. Boundary Object III begins with a looped synth phrase and identifiable percussive pattern, but as the track evolves the latter begins to break apart and become more erratic and syncopated, shifting our understanding of the synth loop that otherwise remains intact. Boundary Object II plays with passages of static. Like a radio broadcast constantly interrupted by white noise, a synth melody tries to push through but is cut to pieces as it is continuously consumed by a static hiss. This static returns on the woozy acid trip of Boundary Object VI, where this time it becomes the pulse beneath a pattern of warping and ever-twisting chimes. Toward the album’s final act, Lázár seems to become preoccupied with forming percussive phrases from the non-percussive. Synth riffs and drones are cut and chopped in succession on tracks like Boundary Object VIII to create patterns that challenge the boundaries of ‘beat.’
Lázár’s frivolous play on shape and structure is surprisingly fun. As abstract as Boundary Object is, there’s a quality and tonality to the sound that often feels giddy and joyous; like a rollercoaster with endless twists and turns. While sound art such as this risks veering into convoluted territory, and often does, Lázár manages to hold our attention without getting lost in any sort of loftiness. This makes for an incredibly visceral and tactile listen, an adventure into the qualities of Lázár’s sounds themselves. Turn this on and allow yourself to take the ride from start to finish, you may come out feeling more exhilarated than before.
Preview Boundary Object below.
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