KCRW’s Private Playlist: Gel Set

KCRW’s Private Playlist is a listening session with Southern California’s most notable musical figures in their private creative environments. If the name Gel Set conjures an involuntary cascade of ‘80s-derived pop culture signifiers, you’ve already fallen into Laura Callier’s trap. The LA-based multimedia artist created Gel Set as a kind of anti-pop statement, using some of its tropes (percolating synths, primitive video effects, day-glo makeup) for her own darkly ironic ends. Callier arrived at electronic music through many of the usual byways. She spent years in Chicago-area indie-rock bands until the promise of greater creative autonomy beckoned her to the synthesizer. Her first Gel Set cassette, “Cell Jets,” landed in 2012, but Callier’s breakthrough came in 2015 with the project’s full-length debut, “Human Salad.” Since then, the artist has refined her sound and sensibility over two further Gel Set albums, as well as collaborations with Whitney Johnson (as Simulation) and Nicole Ginelli (God Vol 1).