||Lauer makes it all look so easy.
Over his two decades in the game, Philipp Lauer’s work always manages to mix the best of steely German engineering with deep emotion; industrial-strength beats with the warmth of an old sweater.
On his new LP “Answers 2 Trouble” (out April 2 on Permanent Vacation), the Frankfurt-based musician once again delivers the goods: Nine tracks stuffed with elite beat making and delicious, 80s-influenced songcraft, drawn together by clever arrangements and expert pacing.
After a handful of high-profile collabs over the past few years with the Sex Tags crew, Skatebård, Fabrizio Mammarella and fellow Tuff City Kid Gerd Janson, the prolific producer sounds energized to be back behind the wheel for a solo spin—his first LP since 2018’s “Power.”
All the Lauer hallmarks are here: Flashes of modern house and techno, a few drops of acid, layers of gorgeous synths and those wistful melodies that recall an era when New Order played live on “Baywatch.”
While the longtime Robert Johnson Club affiliate hasn't shied away from his John Hughes influences in the past, this time around, Mr. Philipp pushes his sound further into pure pop than ever before.
Especially on cuts like “Make It Stay” and “Valentino III,” Lauer swaps moody dance floor workouts for breezy, seaside drives.
On the former, new collaborator Dena plays Cosey to Lauer’s Chris, and the pair craft the kind of song that would sound perfect on a teenage spin in mom’s convertible VW Cabriolet.
Not that he's gone all pop, though.
The Italo-tinged “Altalenanti” lands squarely in Lauer’s patented toughness + grooviness equation, while album highlight “Ghost” (alongside frequent vocalist Jasnau) is all shouty vocal hooks, clenched fists and stomping bass lines.
Lauer tells us the new record was completed in his brand-new, purpose-built studio. While we imagine wiring together all his vintage gear must’ve been a major chore, thankfully, the results sound effortless.