Unreal Estate OST

Lawrence Lek & Oliver Coates

Lawrence Lek’s Unreal Estate is a speculative simulation in which London’s Royal Academy of Arts has been sold off as a luxury playboy mansion to an anonymous Chinese billionaire. First shown at the RA itself in 2015, and available to play online as part of Lek’s ‘Bonus Levels’ series, this dystopian and poignantly funny piece was the winner of the ICA Tenderflix award and the Dazed x Converse Emerging Artist Award.

Unreal Estate’s eerie landscape is underpinned by a soundtrack from cellist and composer Oliver Coates. Coates’ cello chorales are both tender and stark; glossy Reichian quavers, elephantine bass lines and cultivated waltzes reverberate within the gallery’s imaginary walls. Interspersed amongst Coates’ themes are selections from Unreal Estate’s narrator, whose advice to potential investors comes from a found text from Russian Tatler, translated into Mandarin by Joni Zhu.

Lek and Coates are both highly respected in their own fields. In the last two months, Lek has exhibited alongside Holly Herndon and Benedict Drew at Wysing Arts Centre’s The Uncanny Valley, and been announced as the visual collaborator for Kode9’s 2016 Nøthing tour. Coates’ lauded solo album Towards the Blessed Islands, released on PRAH in 2013, showcased the virtuosity and flexibility the cellist has brought to collaborations with Mica Levi, Jonny Greenwood and many many more. This release captures both artists at the top of their game.

Unreal Estate OST [SLP019] is available digitally from November 2015, mastered by Rupert Clervaux, alongside a limited-edition A1 poster designed by Lawrence Lek and Tom Rose.

FACT feature & full stream
Lawrence Lek feature by Emily Bick in the Wire Issue 383
Rhizome, Frieze and Avant features
TANK Magazine interview w. Oliver & Lawrence
Berlin Community Radio feaure on Malte Kobel’s Vibration Totale
Plays on the Wire and Kammer Klang‘s Resonance FM shows, and on BBC R3’s Late Junction.

…one of the most immersive ambient albums you are likely to hear this year…” – Bleep
…the music is as grand and boldly delineated as any computer game soundtrack, making it a perfect fit for Lek’s virtual world…” –  Nathan Thomas, Fluid Radio

Performed at London’s Cafe Oto, and at Berlin’s 3hd festival at HAU2 (footage here)