Review: On his forthcoming new LP, Now Here No Where, Kompakt staple Kolsch is charting new terrain. The Danish producer presents an album about life in the year 2020: 'a time defined by confusion, misinformation and environmental challenges.. [in addition to] emotional interpretation of personal and mental challenges, observations and personal growth.' The first single to be taken from the opus is the deeply evocative "While Waiting For Something To Care About" featuring the strings of collaborator Gregor Schwellenbach once again, in addition to the more positive and uplifting euphorics of "Now Here No Where" which also appears on the album - this one is a truly glassy-eyed and bittersweet affair in the vein of label alumni like Michael Mayer and Tobias Thomas.
Review: Kompakt's annual label sampler returns for a 15th year, gathering together another 24 highlights from the long running Cologne imprint's ever growing back catalogue. As usual, there are numerous styles represented - from the spiraling dancefloor synth-pop of Kolsch and punk-influenced techno of Audion, to the soft focus melodies and hypnotic beats of Gui Boratto, and the intoxicating global electronics of Jurgen Paap - as well as much-played tracks from some of the imprint's most notable talents (see the contributions from Rex The Dog, Superpitcher, Matias Aguayo and John Tejada, whose "Two O One" is a tuneful techno delight).
Review: Childhood memories can be some of the most vivid, so it's little surprise to find Kolsch daydreaming about old family holidays on his sophomore full-length, 1983. While it's a thoroughly contemporary sounding album, there's certainly an overtly orange and red, Kodachrome inspired feel to proceedings, as if Kolsch was trying to capture the feel of old family photographs in music. In practice, this means a largely joyous blend of colourful synthesizer melodies, undulating electronic strings, and soft-touch beats inspired by a mixture of classic house, techno, tech-house and early 80s synth pop. Without fail, the resultant music is effortlessly joyous.
Review: Kompakt's Total compilation series - an annual round up of gems from the imprint's tightly packed release schedule - must be one of the longest-running in dance music. Amazingly, this latest installment is the 14th volume in the series. For those who enjoy Kompakt's generally positive approach to electronic music - think tactile techno, ambient pop and skewed, synth-laden house from the likes of Michael Mayer, Thomas Fehlmann, Partial Arts and Gui Boratto - there's much to admire, including a slew of previously unreleased cuts. These include Superpitcher's "Delta", a sublime chunk of hypnotic e-tronica that's almost too melodic for its own good. Arguably even better is Weval's live recording of "Something", which is near perfect in its wide-eyed pop simplicity.