STL, Musik 4 Life


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It’s a somewhat rare feat for a producer’s high output to be matched with high quality, let alone stylistic depth. Stephan Laubner, better known as STL, is one of the few who pulls it off. Already this year he has six new releases to his name, ranging from techno and deep-house to field-recorded soundscapes. It helps that majority of his work needs only to meet his (admittedly high) standards to be released on his own Something Records. His recent single, “Musik 4 Life,” keeps with the trend, and has quickly become perhaps my favorite STL release so far.

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Laubner’s productions often straddle the line between DJ tool and simply minimal and this 12″ is no different, as all three tracks surpass 10 minutes and are pocked with quiet valleys for mixing. The careening progressions chirping cheerfully between the edges of STL’s famously razor sharp hi-hats make “Zeitsprung” immediately engaging. Next to its peers the tune is positively upbeat, with only a hint of melancholy afforded by warped strings. Conjuring a foggy road at dusk, “Mulland Drive” coasts through morose plumes of shaded melody on its way to pads on the distant horizon. The title “Under the Sea” also informs its swirling sound: hi-hats and minor key organ progression dissolving languidly; the edges of overcast synth line bubbled with sub-aquatic wear; and tweeting pitches circling aimlessly overhead. “Musik” also includes six new loops, whose sounds are sinister and vaguely dubstepping (“Two”), arabesque (“Three”), on edge (“One”), deeply introspective (“Five” and “Six”) and deeply uplifting (“Four,” my personal favorite). Versatile and hugely satisfying, “Musik 4 Life” is a far cry from the personality-bereft music many prolific producers foist upon us. With any luck Stephan Laubner’s reign of fairer releases will continue unabated.

james kartsaklis  on July 24, 2008 at 1:04 PM

this dude is fucking flawless


Little White Earbuds » Little White Earbuds July Charts  on July 30, 2008 at 5:55 AM

[…] STL, Zeitsprung [Something] (buy) 07. Niggemann & Poppcke, “L’Aurora” (Agnès Chicago Take) […]

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