After a five year hiatus Luke Slater reanimates his L.B. Dub Corp alias for a dynamic, vocal-led ode to the club featuring Robert OwensPaul St. HilaireMiss Kittin and more. The album ‘Saturn to Home’ will be released on 10th May 2024 and is announced today with the release of the first single ‘You Got Me’ featuring Robert Owens – the seminal American house music producer, DJ and songwriter, co-founder of Fingers Inc, and voice of some of the greatest tracks in American electronic music history.

Since his first forays into DJing, Luke Slater has been pursuing different streams of inspiration to create some of the most enduring electronic music of the past 30 years. From his grandiose ambient techno of The 7th Plain to the trailblazing machine funk of Planetary Assault Systems, he’s gifted a lot of music to the world. His L.B. Dub Corp alias first emerged in 2006, and has since been a vessel for a looser approach to club music compared to the steely big room energy of P.A.S. At times it’s housier, elsewhere dubbier, but still logically attached to Slater’s overall arc as an artist and music lover. 

On his new album, which marks his first appearance on Dekmantel, Slater wanted to celebrate the unique cultural ferment that set him on his path. It starts with his earliest memories marvelling at the beats in his father’s big band and jazz funk records until he was old enough to be drumming himself. Drums have remained a source of fascination, despite his years entangled in machine music, and for the first time Slater uses his own live drumming on Saturn to Home.

The subtle imperfections of human rhythm are a big draw – Slater has always shied away from anything too ‘perfect’. From the rough and ready advent of drum machines and synths in early 80s pop, disco and electro to the breakthrough years of house music, Slater started to get a handle on how the sounds were made by identifying with the DIY, anything-goes spirit of the era. These are the touchstones that were on his mind as he started to work on Saturn to Home, not seeking to create carbon copies or overtly retro tracks, but rather to keep the verve and open-ended attitude of that music on his mind as made the album throughout 2022. 

Beyond the drums, the vocals are the other vital ingredient which Slater knew he needed for this record. His own voice appears sporadically, but he also very intentionally reached out to artists such as deep house original Robert Owens and dub techno quiet legend Paul St. Hilaire. Iconic French electro provocateur Kittin also makes an appearance, although her turn on ‘Saturn To Home’ came about in a more cosmic fashion. Slater had been puzzling over who might work on the track only to be reunited with Kittin at a gig for the first time in years and it felt like a sign to Slater. Alex is the solo alias for Alexandra Grübler of Baal & Mortimer, who lends her freewheeling approach to ‘Golden Star’ in a style Slater compares to Liz Fraser in Cocteau Twins. 

If Planetary Assault Systems is in service to the energetic apex of the rave, L.B. Dub Corp is a celebration of the club. Some might equate the two terms, but for Slater his idea of the club was forged in those formative 80s years, when styles slipped into one another in tandem with the melee of social strata. It’s remained an enduring focus — he looks back fondly to playing with the late, great Andrew Weatherall for Steve Bicknell’s Spacebase party at Plastic People, when house, Italo, rare groove and dub were just some of the ingredients flowing into the loose-fit flavour of the night. 

Behind ‘Only The Good Times’ lies the story of fabled Eindhoven street character Arnol Kox, whose philosophical proclamations had become local legend. Slater managed to record Kox shouting the Dutch equivalent of the track title, which had become his sole mantra after years preaching to folk in the city centre. Kox passed away in 2020, and so ‘Only The Good Times’ became a heartfelt tribute to someone who embodied the misfit individuality Slater feels most at home around, not least in the club.

It’s this lattice of sounds, stories and feelings which give Saturn to Home its electric, diaristic energy. Whether it’s the feverish passion of ‘Your Love’s infectious chord stabs or the smoky soundsystem tendrils of ‘Golden Star’, the elastic drums and mutant synth funk of ‘Krank’ or the star-scraping breakbeat techno of ‘Only The Good Times’, Slater tells the story of his life in music, which means his life overall, without ever being stuck in the past. 

A1. Saturn to Home feat. Kittin
A2. You Got Me feat. Robert Owens
B1. Your Love
B2. Golden Star feat. Baal Mortimer
C1. Only the good times
C2. Krank
D1. No Trouble in Paradise feat. Paul St. Hilaire
D2. Cloak and Dagger

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