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Lunatik Sound System: The Heavy-Minded Orchestra (Something)

Stefan Laubner has made a name for himself in his own unique spin on minimal techno, most commonly under the name STL with releases under his belt on the Perlon label as well as his own Something imprint. With Lunatik Sound System, Laubner frees himself from the tyranny of the beat and allows his knack for atmosphere to take over. He’s been cranking out releases with this moniker, with 8 or 9 releases in just the last couple of years. Most of them have been on CDr, but The Heavy-Minded Orchestra is available as a special triple vinyl edition. (Nearly all of it is available digitally.) This is my first exposure to the project, however, and so I only have his repertoire as a techno producer to which to compare it. For all its ambient reputation, the first track then of The Heavy-Minded Orchestra is incredibly misleading as it is all about the drum. It’s free from the four-to-the-floor formula of his techno productions, but still generally built around a jerky, slightly disorienting drum loop. But the other elements herein point more directly to what’s to come: overtones, effects, drones and more. “Nitetrain” follows it up with less the a minute’s palate-cleanser, a short rush of recorded noise before diving headlong into the abyss with “Another Form Of Time.” At its best, The Heavy-Minded Orchestra sounds like weightless, deep space, those tracks where musicality altogether goes out the window and it’s more a dense passage of airy time. “Peaceful Inhabitant” and “The End of The Beginning” seem to strike this balance the best, while “Face It” and “How Should I Feel Today” are more musical drones, prolonged pitched streams of sound. It’s a handsome collection of tracks, perhaps less immediate than Laubner’s dancefloor workouts, but a nice complement to that very controlled style. It seems like a solid introduction to his discography as Lunatik Sound System.

Watch/listen: The End Of The Beginning

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