Lawrence doesn't cast his creepy spells on Until Then, Goodbye nearly as much as one might wish, but his softer side is almost as nice.
Until Then, Goodbye was put out by Mule Electronic, but the hand-drawn cover art sitting between chicken scratches and brilliance suggests Smallville Records, which specializes in the mercurial minimal techno that Lawrence (a.k.a. Peter Kersten) helped kick-start. The German producer has released material on Smallville and about a zillion other labels, and Until Then, Goodbye comes at a point when Lawrence has a lot of music to his name, though it’s still been hotly anticipated in certain circles. Less moody than simply clouded over, the hour-long album contains little of the creeped-out sorcery at which he’s something of a virtuoso. Instead, the best moments of Until Then, Goodbye are tender, as when the high-pitched pads arrive midway through “Jill” and the luminous synths of “Sleep and Suffer” become turgid with heartache. “A New Day” is one of Lawrence’s most pleasant right turns, a treated piece for solo piano sitting at the crossroads where jazz, electronic, and modern classical meet. That it seems to wink at the defunct and sorely missed Triosk adds to its poignancy. The traditional techno, however -- that is to say, most of Until Then, Goodbye -- feels only halfway there, jammed in a rut where sharpness and warmth consume each other.