Phillip Lauer, a producer from Frankfurt, Germany, specialises in the type of playful, stirring disco you might expect to feature in a Gerd Janson set. He first caught my attention with his first album, ‘Phillips,’ which was a really enjoyable collection of wistful harmonies and sprightly basslines like this one:
He doesn’t take any risks with this release, remaining true to his previous style. But this is the type of music we need a steady, new influx of – fun, heady vibes to lighten your stride and bring some revelry to the dancefloor. This is my favourite album of 2015 so far.
‘Crewners’ gets things off to a hazy, beatless start with a dreamy synth and mournful bass that ushers you onto Lauer’s at times sepia-tinged disco planet.
The first ‘big’ track on the album is the second – ‘Gammelan.’ A joyous, butterflies-inducing, twinkly synth appears at the beginning ahead of a fantastic moment that sees a quickfire bassline and an equally impish synth play off one another, sustaining itself over the track, sure to trigger a chain reaction of smiles on any dancefloor given the right moment.
Unsurprisingly, a 303 inflection opens ‘Hump Acid.’ After about a minute and a half, a soaring melody melds with a plaintive vocal snippet as the track builds to a crescendo with the modulating bassline squelching beneath.
‘Telefon’ arrives next – I absolutely adore this cut! Packing an infectious, manic bassline, crunchy percussion and a serotonin-tickling piano, it reaches a gloriously intoxicating peak after about three minutes. I love the way you can hear Lauer really fry the bass at this point.
After that high, we are bought back to earth with the soothing vocoder of ‘Msndrstndng.’ Some interesting synth stabs in this and drum snares to boot.
I have a really fond memory of hearing ‘ESC’ being belted out in Oval Space, London during a Lauer live set. This was a track I passed over on first listening but it has grown on me a lot – Jasnau’s reverberating vocal lending a sense of drama amid a buzzing two tone synth. This number has an almost synth-pop feel to it.
The album’s title track is pleasant if verging a little too much on the side of cheesiness, while ‘Pal Oh’ treats us to a rolling bassline that rumbles along beneath emotive strings and crisp drums.
‘Mausback’ is a delightful work out with a peach of a bassline humming along to create a mood of blissed out nostalgia. ‘Reebe’ is certainly the darkest track on offer here, a tad out of touch with the general tone of this release though I think.
‘Carpet’ risks the cheesiness again but this time I think Lauer manages to make it fall on the right side. ‘Alright’ is a real gem, calling to mind the tripped out, sexy, slo-mo disco of The Chromatics. I love the way the tracks turns on the bass pitch with Ela providing a whispery vocal performance. She must have been happy Lauer decided to increase her input up from her one word delivery on ‘Telefon!’
‘Byby’ suitably closes out the album with a doleful synth winding things down.
Unfortunately, most of these tracks are not on YouTube with only snippets on Soundcloud. But certainly worth tracking them down elsewhere. So overall, a really fun album, ideal for summer road trips!
Standout tracks: ‘Gammelan,’ ‘Telefon,’ ‘Alright’