Review: Kompakt recently re-released scene stalwart Rex The Dog's core back catalogue - an artist that has become an integral part of the label's story. They decided to have a few of the British artist's favourite producers rework some of his renowned singles, and the results come as 'Versions'. This collection of three remixes from a varied crew of producers features Irishman Krystal Klear, who accentuates the strobe lights and smoke machine on his euphoric rendition of last year's thriller "Vortex", Madrid-based Italian Bawrut delivers his idiosyncratic style of nu-disco on his remix of "Sicko" and Viennese producer Wolfram Eckert delivers a mesmerising rework of "Circulate".
Review: Known primarily for his releases on Kompakt, Rex The Dog branches out with an EP on Soft Computing. The title track represents a more measured style than is usual for this project, but the same underlying aesthetic still applies as throbbing bass, crisp drums and subtle builds prevail. On "Mine Raiders", he picks up the pace, thanks to some urgent drum programming, a wiry rhythm and atmospheric whooshes, but it doesn't quite hit the same heady climax as earlier material like "Frequency" and "Prototype". Ejeca's remix of "Housing" marks a significant shift in style, with dub chords and a frenetic techno groove prevailing.
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: UK legend Jake Williams returns to Kompakt under his Rex The Dog alias, following up last year's terrific Crasher EP. His new one "Vortex" is a track that made a sizeable impression on label co-head Michael Mayer - who claims that its retro futurism made him feel nostalgic and recalled a zeitgeist of electronic music from decades past. Indeed Willians was capable, having been active throughout all those decades under may acclaimed aliases, and indeed the track's hypnotic and driving groove will get you! -All mesmerising melodies with razor sharp modular pulsations that will sonically transfix you as much as it did to Mayer. This is supported by the trippy and tunnelling minimal funk of "Elektromekanik" on the flip.
Review: It's that time again: Cologne institution Kompakt return with their annual round up of what's hot in contemporary house and techno - all with the distinct hallmarks in harmony with their aesthetic: deep, intelligent and absolutely evocative. Rest assured that all the usual suspects appear - label stalwarts such as Jorg Burger, Jurgen Paape, Gui Boratto and of course head honchos the Voigt brothers. Elsewhere there are some regulars and newbies alike such as Los Angeleno Sonns on the sun-kissed and tripped-out "Tame" (feat Beesh), veteran John Tejada with the bold melodics of "Detector" (a cut from his brilliant new Dead Start Program LP), lo-slung cosmo-balearica by Ghost Vision on "Zuul" and the legendary Jake Williams aka Rex The Dog on the epic dance floor drama of "Crasher". Another tremendously curated compilation that's essential listening.