Minimal Synth: Philippe Laurent – Distorsion
A long-lost piece of French electro heat from ’84, Distorsion was originally only ever released on an extremely rare cassette. Now thanks to Veronica Vasicka’s label Minimal Wave it has seen the light on hot red vinyl, on his LP Hot Bip. Hot Bip is an alias Philippe Laurent used for music throughout the 80s and 90s, and the album features all original tracks recorded between 1979 through 1988. It will also be featured on the upcoming collaboration between Minimal Wave and Stones Throw, The Minimal Wave Tapes 2 which will be released late February this year.
Distorsion is the opening track of the album and a good taste of things to come, with music featuring influences of new wave, industrial, electro and classical but without just slotting neatly in any of those categories. The album has a very humanistic feeling throughout, even as it ranges from the warm analogue basslines and playful synthesizer melodies of Système Clair and Et Hop to the industrial grind of Industrieuse 3 & 2. The drum programming is simple but on point — well sequenced and danceable, with that characteristic warmth of having been recorded on analogue tapes.
Outside of music, Philippe Laurent is also a designer and cross-disciplinary artist who’s works have been exhibited in France and Germany during the 90s.