Laui XIV, Phillip Lauer's latest 12", is made of familiar parts. Lauer isn't exactly a conservative producer, but he is the sort of guy who's often referred to as "reliable" or "consistent." In short, he's someone who knows his way around the machines but doesn't always stand out—his Arto Mwambe project with Christian Beißwenger is still probably his high-water mark in that regard. True to form, the tracks here are well-crafted, but might be too familiar to escape sets' filler sections.
The predominating influence seems to be Italo disco, or the kind of new wave that early Chicago house DJs mixed with early house. It's acidic but never aggressively so, and its frisky arpeggiated struts have a well-worn pop appeal. If Lauer deploys anything spectacularly, it's atmospherics, whether it's the glistening pads that sit on top of "Tyler," or the merger of streaky, siren-like synth strings and horns on "Angus" with a tough, driving bassline. The sputtering "Boshs" is also compelling, as he keeps the pads low in the mix amid a bleeping neon melody and dueling bass and acid lines. Again, Lauer's effort here is not particularly fresh; he seems content to play it safe. But these are decent adaptations all the same.