Words like prolific almost don't do Stephan Laubner justice. While there's not a great deal known about the Harz based producer behind STL and Lunatik Sound System — the way he likes to keep it — his immense body of work, be it his hypnotic loopy house and techno, or murky drone and ambient soundscapes, has given serious inspiration to those who have connected with it over the years.
As STL, his most well known offering, the intoxicating Silent State is the best slice of house music meets dub techno you’re likely to hear. Its beautifully restrained 12 minute journey never feeling tired even five years after its release date. While he may not be touring anymore, Laubner has more than made up for it with output in recent times. 2014 is already shaping to be his most fruitful year in the studio, amassing seven releases on his label Something across his aliases with another couple just around the corner. His addition to our humble series as STL is undoubtedly one of his most diverse selections to date, with the sounds of his signature drone and minimal techno sitting snugly alongside moody Detroit house and disco over a glorious 80 minutes.
What have you been up to? How is the German summer treating you so far?
The summer has really started here since the last few days. Most of the time it’s very warm and sunny. When it’s not too hot, I enjoy making some field recordings at several nature places. I was at the coast for a few days lately and now often make some shorter trips around the area here. It’s a welcome alternation to sitting at home only with my studio gear. So far summer has been very nice.
What can you tell us about this mix, did you have a certain mood in mind before recording it? Who are some of the artists that feature in the mix?
No I had no certain mood in mind, not at all. This mix was more like jamming around. In fact I was searching for records in my collection on the complete mix and just played what I wanted to hear at each moment. So it was not a very well prepared and thought over mix. Artists on this mix are very diverse; I played stuff like ‘Purple Saturn Days’ in the beginning and at one point ended up playing something from Frank Zappa. Also there were some sounds from the CD Series included in the background. However I think the mix gives a good varied listen, at least for me, and I’m happy that you like it too.
You have already put out a number of releases on your label Something this year, including a Lunatik Sound System album and one as STL, how does your approach differ when writing music for each of those aliases, are you generally still using similar tools?
Yes there has been seven recordings on my label released so far this year. Two ambient albums, three under my STL project and two for the Something nature series. The working process always differs a bit. The settings and sounds of my machines have been programmed with sounds for ambient as well as sounds for techno and house music, and in between. And of course there are always some live tweaks that fits the current song. Since many years I have gone back and forth from beat work to drone and ambient scapes. Thats how I like it. For recording nature, I use my outdoor equipment and do a little in the post in the studio.
What is coming up for Something in the second part of the year?
Let’s see what happens. I have just readied a new 12” and it is at the pressing plant since a little while ago. It should be out in a few weeks. Other things have not been planed. Most releases comes out shortly after something new has been finished, you know.
What else do you have coming up that you’re able to tell us about?
The above mentioned 12” which is called ‘Sound Transmission’ and I think there will be an dub EP on Echocord from me, but thats not completely settled yet.