Stephan Laubner is almost a mythical figure at this point, living in a tiny German village and pumping out record after record of weirdo house, dub techno and ambient on his self-run Something label. So anytime he appears elsewhere, it's usually something to note. British Columbia label Silent Season makes a remarkable second foray into vinyl with STL's 14-minute "Beats of Spirit," which lands on the louder, more assertive end of the STL spectrum.
The tune is, like Laubner's best work, droning but dynamic. This particular beat is double-tracked just slightly off-time in each stereo channel, creating a wet smear coated in a thick primordial goo, turning the hi-hats (I think those are hi-hats) into tinny slush. Its neverending cycle recalls the patience of prime dub techno but its palette is too sharp and raucous to fall into that genre trap. It's one of Laubner's best tracks since "Silent State," and for those who are familiar, that's no small statement.
The other side of the release is taken up by two tracks from Belgian producer Djorvin Clain's album Pattern of Thought on the label, and the relative unknown is a smart match for STL, taking the same blunted metal approach to techno. "The Untitled One" sends a clicking breakbeat through the kind of dark wilderness that adorns Silent Season's artwork, subtly tripping and catching over a kick drum that dips in and out of some subterranean abyss. Treading even deeper into the darkness, "Kajimeara" appropriates what sounds like a blast furnace for a hellish, heaving odyssey through Einstürzende Neubauten clank and Throbbing Gristle dread.
Buy STL / Djorvin Clain - Beats of Spirit at
Tracklist: STL / Djorvin Clain - Beats of Spirit A Beats Of Spirit
B1 The Untitled One