Review: Comeme showcases an evolution in the label's history, on the soon to be released volumes of Solidarity Forever. Introducing new artwork, a new logotype and most importantly of all - new music by new artists. The title refers to their motivation as a label and the reason behind their everyday actions - acting as a reminder of why they do what they do. The first volume features label head honcho Matias Aguayo, with the jagged and angular tropicalism of "Selvagem", some deep down and dirty punk-funk from the magnificent pairing of Daniel Maloso X Red Axes on "En La Oscuridad" and Medellin based newcomer Gladkazuka with the sludgy lo-fi techno of "Futuro Caos" providing something a bit more hard hitting.
Review: As sure as night follows day, every year Kompakt releases an installment of the Total series. Now at its sixteenth volume, the compilation still manages to bring together the best bits from the Cologne label's catalogue. From the dreamy textures and spiky off rhythms of Kaytlin Aurelia Smith's take on The Field's "Reflecting Lights" to the woozy vocals and pitter pattering break beats on Weval's "I Donat Need It" to the stripped back but evocative house of Patrice Baumel's take on Blond:ish's "Endless Games" and the throbbing techno reshape of Coma's "Lora", the full range of the Kompakt emotional spectrum is audible here.
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: Until the release of the first two volumes in the El Rudo Del House series earlier this year, Matias Aguayo hadn't put out any of his own material on Comeme since 2009. This third instalment in the series is as essential as its' predecessors, offering a quartet of quirky, South American influenced house and techno jams. There's naturally much to admire, from the low-slung bass, metronomic rhythms and pitched-down vocal samples of "El Grubb", and thumping, Cumbia-influenced madness of "Ven Aqui Que Te Destapo", to the tribal drums and sludgy, mind-altering bottom-end of "El Volcanio". Best of all, though, is "Chup Chup", a sweaty, basement-bothering, choppy house workout destined to raise the tempo in more than a few clubs this summer.
Review: Comeme has already released one of the great records of 2015, Lena Willikens' Phantom Delia. Now it's the turn of label owner Matias Aguayo, who delivers the second installment in the El Rudo Del House series. "Tomada" is a rowdy as a bar room brawl in Tijuana during spring break, its drums smashing and crashing with the ferocity of chairs and tables being flung by tequila-fuelled trustafarians. "69 Ground Floor Left" sees the Comeme boss edge closer to the dance floor with a buzzing bass and wired vocal samples, while the hardcore stabs of "Gato Disco" and the hard percussive stomp of Loca Dance is the most techno-centric track. However, soon enough Aguayo lurches back towards the blind-eyed lurch he started with as "Ese Pompin" proves that he's a producer of considerable range.
Run Away From The Sun (instrumental) - (6:30) 120 BPM
Review: Matias Aguayo returns to the warm bosom of Cologne's Kompakt label - the imprint on which he first made his name - for his first outing of 2014. The typically atmospheric Legende is not a great departure musically - his usual skewed pop, minimal techno, subtle new wave guitars, fuzzy electronica and woozy ambient influences are all present and correct - but it is decidedly impressive (thanks, in no small part, to his mastery of mood and melody). The title track impresses with its' fluttering, glitchy approach, while "Run Away From The Sun" recalls his early material on Kompakt Pop. Best of all, though, is "Lola in the City", a decidedly off-kilter fusion of traditional Chilean instrumentation, spacey bleep melodies and a scratchy, loose-sounding groove.
Review: The Visitor sees Matias Aguayo return with his third album, and first in four years with such an absence understandable when you consider how busy running Comeme and touring commitments must keep him. Arriving through said Comeme as opposed to Kompakt who released Aguayo's previous long players, this eleven track album feels right at home on a label that jettisons proto-house, new wave, techno and other indigenous body music with a rate beyond prolific. There's a notably more psychedelic tone to this album and Aguayo remains the captivating force he is throughout The Visitor despite contributions from fellow label artists Philipp Gorbachev, Ana Helder, Daniel Maloso and Alejandro Paz.
Review: The wilfully eccentric pushes in a new direction with this compilation. It starts off with Carisma's "Muerte Instrumental", a stomping house affair with a heavy, acidic bass and noisy filtering, sounding like an acid rocker has decided to engineer himself some Chicago jack. Gladkazuka's "El Untitled" is an adventure in Terrence Fixmer-style techno, with grinding EBM basslines and a doomy sensibility prevailing, while Matias Aguayo's "El Transatlantio" is based on a humming bassline and insidious bleeps. Alejandro Paz restores some semblance of normality with "El House", a clap-heavy acid groove with typically nonsensical Spanish lyrics.
Review: As its predecessors had done, this latest instalment in Kompakt's annual compilation series gives a good snapshot of where the label's at in the summer of 2011. There's the usual mixture of melodic ambient pop, techno club hits, shuffling deep house and expansive electronica, with familiar favourites (Michael Mayer's brilliant remix of WhoMadeWho, GusGus's "Over", Matias' Aguayo's lo-fi dance-rock groover "I Don't Smoke") being joined by a smattering of unreleased cuts. Highlights come thick and fast, with Superpitcher's previously unheard "White Lightning", Jargen Paape's dream-like "Pray" and Mohn's slo-mo wonk-fest "Tiefnatal" most impressing. If you're after a high quality collection of emotion-rich, cutting-edge electronic music, look no further.