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Lavar - "Avoidance" album review

Avoidance is a good name for an album that I was asked to review half a year ago in late February/early March that originally came out in May 2018. Losing my job, looking for a new one, dealing with floods and construction, and finally moving to a new house really made me avoid reviewing this. It was so intimidating: dark and over 40 minutes of what appeared to be noise music. Finally, since I've now been able to find a new job and start organizing things in my house into the start of a semblance of order, I've been able to take the descent into Laver's 2018 album Avoidance.


I wasn't sure what to make of the album starting off with the cover and the title. Everything is so minimal, and the cover is so dark. I like the deep red of, what I assume is, a snake-ish rug. There seems to be a glitch arc going on the left side, and I'm not sure what to make of its placement. I prefer to see the natural rhythm of the room. For me, nothing has of yet been resolved.


Avoidance starts with "Dymphna", the name of a Christian saint, the patron of mental disorders, depression, anxiety, and runaways. This track is composed of minimal guitar(?) loops transisting through the grit of a glitch. The combination of cleaner, echo'd lines combined with a deep boom reminds me of some of my own work as Satyr/Elfheim. The next track is "Messier 42", another name for the Orion Nebula and a possible source for a Mayan myth. A pulse, a lost symphony codes into this world through a rough sieve. This song is distant and alien but also near and familiar, the sound of dreaming while awake at night in a living room lit by lightbulb to a warmth of dull yellow. It's not a bad place, and it is one that conjures all sorts of things; perhaps it is not an ideal situation though, beyond these nighttime hours. The third track is "hunu", perhaps referring to the word for the sun or a sun ray in different languages. It could also be the number 1,000,000. I hear the sound of the subway of a dream world like that first area in Silent Hill 4: The Room. It's a static curtain through which several voices peek into this room. This song gives me more historical content too; the static reminds me of rushing water, a faucet, that reminded me that a parent who scared me sometimes was home. Sometimes I hid in my room. The song heads into a tunnel, Tunnel Music, as I've played before. Footsteps of insects (and bigger) in the damp humidity echo as the room opens up with chimes of charming water falling.

Two more tracks follow quietly. "Choi Da Bin" is a single that is presented here and the name of a South Korean figure skater. The song has a chilly feel of synth warps and crispy textures. It would perhaps be a good track for a horror game or film due to the high-pitched tones that rise every so often. It's not a bad piece, but I found this track to be the least interesting one so far. "rip vladik" perhaps refers to Vladik Shibanov, an actor from Ukraine who some believe to have been killed by the CIA or faked his death. He was only 18 when he died and had been involved with some kind of softcore, naturist child porn when he was a kid. I don't know anything about this, so I have no comment to give. The track starts with clinking glasses and a windy synth. The song continues into nature sounds of birds and water along with calm and spacey synth sounds. Along with "Choi Da Bin" before it, "rip vladik" is more ambient and epic. Compared with the first half, these are less to my tastes, but maybe you will find something hiding here in the windswept heaths.

Avoidance fits the title sonically. The tracks follow the theme, the name, and the cover art with insular topics one might read about alone, become engrossed in tales of outside people and places in juxtapose the inner-focused life of the hikikomori. I really liked the first half of Avoidance, rough textures of dreams, more than the later half of long winding drones. It's an interesting item for sure.

Avoidance receives a Good.

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