- Rich, retro-tinged house and disco from a "vibes man."
- I was reading over the Machine Love feature Phillip Lauer did in 2015, and was struck by what a vibes man he seemed to be. A former editor at RA coined this phrase to describe artists who are fantastic at what they do and don't seem to think too hard about it—great for their creativity, in other words, but tough to get any interview zingers out of them. That Lauer isn't "especially philosophical or romantic about his creative process," as Jordan Rothlein put it at the time, might be one of the reasons he's produced seriously vast amounts of high-quality house, electro pop and disco, both solo and part of groups like Tuff City Kids with Gerd Janson. He has released a sizeable chunk of this music through Permanent Vacation, a German label that shares his love for bold melodies and feel-good moods, where he now returns for Know You.
The arpeggio-driven '80s pop sound Lauer has embraced in recent years, notably on his 2018 album, Power, is in full effect. There's never been anything reserved or especially subtle about the dance music he makes, but this development has still been pretty striking. It's actually tough to decide which of "You Know" or "Know You" is the most anthemic. "You Know" features Lauer's frequent collaborator Jasnau, a flexible vocalist who seems to specialize in '80s moods, although he sounds like a dead ringer for James Murphy here, singing over a rich synth part the LCD Soundsystem frontman would himself be pleased to have written. "Know You," meanwhile, is like eating jelly, looking at a rainbow and listening to Italo simultaneously. The remaining two tracks, "Body Chck" and "Ctron E," have more of an electro/b-boy energy but still really go for it, with the vocoder vocals and bass guitar on "Body Chck" being standout touches. If you dance to or play this kind of thing, Lauer continues to be a must-check artist.
A1 Know You feat. Jasnau
A2 You Know
B1 Body Chck
B2 Ctron E
B3 You Know (Instrumental)