Review: Almost 18 years on from its debut release, Kompakt Extra is just months away from notching up a century of releases. For EP number 98, Kompakt's club-focused offshoot has snapped up a pair of heads-down, late night delights. Danny Daze and Shokh join forces, laying down a pulsating chunk of trance-like dancefloor hypnotism whose power derives not from thunderous percussion (though the drum hits are solid enough), but rather restless arpeggio lines, spacey electronics and some mind-altering melodies. Then it is Patrice Baumel taking an altogether different approach, slamming down a formidably heavy chunk of bass-heavy techno wonkiness smothered in the sticky humidity of an unlikely jungle rave.
Review: Patrice Baumel returns to Kompakt Extra, following his 2017 split release with Danny Daze and Shokh on the label. Like the rest of his back catalogue, Baumel's first release of 2019 is a melodic, uplifting interpretation of techno. "Grace" is a pumping, pulsating affair that resonates to waves of hissing percussion, with a central melodic riff that builds and peaks before dropping off again. On "Puppets", there is a similar aesthetic at play. The rhythm is slightly detuned and leads the listener through a series of glitch-led break downs before moving back on its way to an epic, melodic conclusion.
Review: Believe in the afterlife? You'll most definitely be convinced after hearing the new offering on Tale Of Us' imprint. The journey of ascension is this time curated by Amsterdam's scene stalwart Patrice Baumel. This will be his second elease for the imprint, following up last year's brilliant Glutes EP and he also makes a rare appearance outside his usual outlet Kompakt. The hypnotic, ping-pong rhythms of "The Hatchet" are somewhat reminiscent of Plastikman, combined with Baumel's great penchant for mesmerising layers of textured emlody. Second offering "Serpent" relies mainly on a slithering mental arpeggio, which is bound to create some sorcery - the sort that label bosses Milleri & Conte are renowned for on the dancefloor. This is guaranteed for transcendence in the club, much like the label's name suggests.
Review: The latest release on Tale of Us' label comes from Patrice Baumel. The German DJ/producer has always focused on a dreamy, tranced out sound - and Glutes is no exception. On the title track, he uses a purring bass to underpin building, minor key melodies, but still manages to maintain an understated, studied feeling and avoids slipping into an over the top cliche. "Engage" is a different matter; it sees Baumel up the pace and drop a pulsing, rolling groove that draws on eerie Detroit synths to create an atmospheric, spaced out arrangement that, like the title track, defies categorisation.
Review: Cardini & Co. glance over the last few years of their discography over at Correspondant, serving up a finely curated selection of their trademark brand of dark disco on 'Collection Vol 1'. It features all the modern classics you could possibly need compiled in one package: from Gerd Janson's low slung remix of Yovav's "Caribbean Zen Mode", Julian Stetter's utterly mesmerising epic "Bushwick" and the neon-lit glory of Krystal Clear's reinterpretation of Terr's "Neuromancer" to more recent additions to the catalogue like Fideles' balearic tinged nu-disco groove "Brain Machine". Elsewhere, there are some proper anthems that couldn't possibly have been overlooked, such as Damon Jee's awe-inspiring "Charmaniac", Maceo Plex with the moody "Mutant Disco" (feat. Maars) and eclosing it out are label staples Red Axes with the very track which set them on course for success seven years ago - "Caminho De Dreyfus".
Review: Cologne powerhouse Kompakt have continually defined a unique aesthetic as label - deep, atmospheric and absolutely evocative. For the 19th edition of their revered Total series - The Voigt Brothers & Co. curate another splendid compilation featuring the very best in international electronic music from the last year, taking in a wide variety of styles, tempos moods and grooves - yet all with the label's distinct taste. Highlights (and there's many!) came courtesy of: local Gewolbe Club resident Jonathan Kaspar with the mesmerising dancefloor drama of "Renard", label co-founders Tobias Thomas & Michael mayer teaming up on the sexy lo-slung groove antics of "Total Anders", label staple and all round Berlin legend Sascha Funke delivers a typically quirky and oddball groove on "Aus Der Lamang". Elsewhere, you can get your tunnel vision on with the ever reliable Rex The Dog on "Vortex", the ascendant Anii from Poland takes you deep into the rainforest on the tribal trance of "Ride The Tiger" and ANNA from Brazil provides some dystopian narratives for the dancefloor on "Remembrance".
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).