At Disconnected Moments CD
Masterful dub techno full-length from STL, aka mysterious German producer Stephan Laubner. To date, Laubner has never released a full-length on a label other than his own Something imprint, though the austere art direction of Hamburg's Smallville label make it a good home for Laubner's atmospheric music. "Amelie's Dub" waits until halfway through its 10-minute runtime to introduce abstract, wintry piano over propulsive synth stabs and hissing field recordings. "Ghostly Ambit" begins inauspiciously as a simple delayed pattern over a symphony of crickets; eventually a kick drops in, the pattern is blurred and a mournful viola heightens mood and tension. On "One Day" STL demonstrates his mastery of clean, emotional mixing - the drums, bass, distant synth and woodwinds burrow into their own sonic space, isolated, yet as a whole, capable of enveloping the listener. For fans of DeepChordand Basic Channel.
Churches Schools & Guns LP
Varied full-length from the Berlin producer, who seeks to bend techno into new forms while maintaining a clear sense of history. After The Horror's uneasy, droning intro, Lucy quickly jumps into blackened Sandwell District-informed sound design. Lucy takes varying paths towards creepy territory. On Follow the Leader, Tuvan throat singers contribute to an unholy techno ritual. The Illusion of Choice is among the album's most traditional, 90s-rave influenced compositions. Even here, Lucy drops some brilliant free-jazz saxophone atop to keep the listener guessing. On closer Falling, the producer works with vocalist Emma for a wistful, wind chime folk number that is at odds with the album's dark mood, serving to demonstrate Lucy's wide emotional range and gift for narrative.