Listencorp review image of Self-Titled EP by Laura Peñate x Rei Low

Self-Titled EP

Laura Peñate x Rei Low


Liam Murphy

November 2, 2021

Tracks in this feature

Tracks in this release

A swirling cityscape appears beyond heavy, drug-addled eyes on this impressively orchestrated release

Acidulous production runs through the very artery of the brief but deep dive into the year 2248. The bass hits with such a jagged energy, and the nature of the instrumentation seems to purposely shirk any sort of collaboration. Still, somehow Laura Peñate manages to ride the production with an effortlessness that delivers four infectious tracks. On the opener Autophobia, she battles alongside bass that spits violently, her voice curling and cooing with a dynamic energy. Her delivery matches the intensity at some points, while purposely diverting from it at others - where it skips with a fast delivery over a yawning, predatory pulse.

This sporadic and unpredictable style aligns with the story the artists tell. The songs blare from the speaker of a hovercab as we tiptoe in and out of consciousness, our brain squeezed like a lemon by some futuristic concoction of drugs. Our cyborg chaperone chimes in with the tunes every now and again, as the distant skyline phases in and out of focus and we repeatedly lose and regain a grip on reality. The EP does this hurried atmosphere a great deal of justice. Laura Peñate's vocals are saturated in this fizzling resonance that you can never be sure is an effect of the music or your mind, Rei Low's instrumentation jumps out with unexpected and volatile sounds.

Though the four tracks are incredibly electronic affairs, there is this unshakable feeling that the journeys the tracks take us on are more akin to a full band outfit. Laura's trilling melodies are reminiscent of the winding vocals of much more organic music. Especially on the closer Psywar. There is so much passion driving through her performance that the concept for the EP almost evaporates and it feels as if we are listening to a fully-fledged band project. These vocals are beautifully complimented and supported by Rei Low's precise production style. Gigantic bass hits meeting Laura as she finds her way to a chorus melody, the whole track seems to shudder under the force of this tractor beam shone by Rei Low.

The partnership achieve so much more than a fulfilment of this hypnagogic journey down a futuristic super freeway. The frantic energy of a chaotic dystopia is there, as is the holographic aura of the imagined future. The listener catches glimpses of this cyberpunk creation, but the power of the artists' performances outshine this concept. Not willing to hide behind it, both Rei Low and Laura Peñate lash out with a distinctive sound and an undeniable chemistry.