Review: With a release earlier this year for Meakusma, Berlin-based artist and instrumentalist Alexander Christou realises the launch of his solo project Al Chem. Turning in two-tracks for Munich's Compost label, with remixes, Christou shares two sides of his post-punk, electronic and synthwave sound. Going deeper and slightly darker in a way that should appeal to Nick Cave or Sisters Of Mercy fans, you'll find respite from the title-track in the lighter shades of sub-pop and synth in "Fistfull of Snow". Michael Reinboth turns in a slightly funkier mix to "Metaphysics Of Love" thanks to its dancey bassline and EBM percussion, alongside Shahrokh Dini's streamlined techno reinterpretation that does away with the gnarly bassline, focusing on Christou's cosmic vocal instead.
Review: Michael Reinboth's Compost Records, not to be confused with its Black Label offshoot, really requires no introduction. Just to leave it topline, the label has been powering through since 1994, and has hosted some of the biggest names in house music since then - peeps like Carl Craig, Laurent Garnier and Dixon having associated themselves to the imprint since its early days. This new compilation series, Compost Nu Jazz Selection Vol.1, has decided to focus on lesser known talents who are, admittedly, redefining the term 'nu-jazz' single-handedly. Like hand in glove, the Kyoto Jazz Massive kick the comp off with two painfully elegant dance ballads, "Deep In Your Mind" and "Crossbreed - surely to future favourites from the Brownswood clique. Other stand-out moments include Trueby Trio's "Cruisin'", a pseudo house cut leaning towards something more soulful and jazz-laden, Minus 8's supremely deep "Breathe", and Joseph Malik's "Silent Fools", a tune to be played loud and direct in the jazz dance! Recommended.
Review: Earlier this year, techno-loving German art-rock trio Automat released their fourth full length, "Modul", which was made with the assistance of "modular magician" Max Loderbauer. It seems fitting then that two of the reworks on this new set of remixes come from Loederbauer and regular collaborator Ricardo Villalobos. They first present a typically wonky "House Remix" of "Nothing Strange"- all metallic percussion hits, glitchy electronic, weird pulses, mangled vocal samples and metronomic kick-drums - before launching into a spaced-out 11-minute take that offers a glitched-out minimalist dub interpretation rich in jazz cymbals and undulating bass. Elsewhere across the EP, Patrick Pulsinger re-invents "Ankaten" as a tech-tinged dub-house workout (and very good it is too), while Shahrokh Dini Medusa turns "Easy Riding" into a melodious, softly spun deep house delight.
Review: Whereas Automat looked fairly close to home when commissioning remixers for the first volume in the "Modul Remixes" series of reworks of tracks from their most recent album, the German art-rockers have cast their net much wider for this second instalment. The most eye-catching contributions come from Detroiter Terrence Parker, who offers up two decidedly trippy revisions of "Ghost" built around short, slowly shifting synthesizer motifs, hypnotic techno drums and squelchy but foreboding acid bass. There's plenty to set the pulse racing elsewhere across the EP though, from the hazy tech-house headiness of Acid Pauli's revision of "Nothing Strange" and DeWalta's dubbed-out, acid-flecked rework of the same track, to the deliciously slo-mo krautrock/dub fusion that is Dubvisionist's fine "Echo Beach Remix" of "Easy Riding".
Review: Warm, acoustic, lo-fi and heavyweight dub experimentations from mega trio Automat, aka: Jochenen Arbeit (Einst?rzende Neubauten), Achim F?rber (Phillip Boa & The Voodooclub) and Georg Zeitblom (wittmannzeitblom). Presenting the group's fourth album is Compost Records out of Munich, helping commision collaborations across the LP's eight tracks from the likes of Max Loderbauer (Vilod) and Paul St. Hilaire, aka Tikiman, to Lydia Lunch (Teenage Jesus And The Jerks), and Mika Bajinski (Swans) on vocal duties - so yes, seriously heavy weight. With subaquatic basslines wish-washing with ambient textures, acoustic drums, percussion and undeniable dub riddims, the project brings together a world of deeper new wave with touches of post punk, modular electronics and the slightest of classical refrains. Our pick: "Easy Riding".
Felix Laband - "Whistling In Tongues" (Todd Terje remix) - (8:23) 112 BPM
Beanfield - "Tides - C's Movement #1" (feat Bajka - Carl Craig remix) - (9:55) 125 BPM
Review: Compost Records has decided to trawl back through their expansive catalogue and reissue a number of sought-out or overlooked gems. This particular EP features two killer cuts that should be in the collection of any discerning DJ. First, there's a chance to revisit Todd Terje's brilliant 2006 remix of Felix Laband's "Whistling In Tongues", a humid, marimba-laden Balearic gem full of dreamy vocal samples, shuffling Latin rhythms, slow builds and dubbed-out tape delays. On the virtual flipside you'll find the more familiar - but no less potent - Carl Craig rework of Beanfield's 2004 single "Tides". Built around a bubbly electronic loop and delay-laden drums, the Motor City maestro's remix rises majestically over the course of ten life-affirming minutes.
Review: Michael Reinboth's long standing imprint is now 25 years strong and celebrates its anniversary with re-released classics by the likes of: Beanfield who gets deeply hypnotic via the Roman Flugel remix of "Human Patterns", Marsmobil getting a slinky and hypnotic makeover by Swiss tech house veteran Ripperton on "It Doesn't Matter How You Are", A Forest Mighty Black's "Fresh In My Mind" remixed by Versatile's I:Cube. Forthcoming are more than 30 new remixes of Compost classics by Ron Trent, Francois K, Recondite, Gerd Janson, Lawrence and many many others.
Review: Compost Records launched a remix contest for Brexit Jazz's "Brexit Jazz": one of the spontaneously jammed gems created by Beanfield, Roberto Di Gioia (Marsmobil) and Compost head Michael Reinboth the day after the Brexit plebiscite. The Brexit will be a long story, that's why the remix contest was launched. Of the 80 submissions, here are the winners and they sure made a great effort. Konvex & The Shadow + Melokolektiv's remix goes for that progressive deep house sound that wouldn't have sounded out of place on Compost Black several years ago. Letryp or CRS + BRG's remixes, respectively, are soulful nu-jazz renditions calling to mind the work of the Mantis Recordings label.
Review: Acclaimed global music DJ Tom Burclay tears into the Compost label's selection of the best modern samba and chilled Tropicala on this new compilation. Greats of different eras like Truby Trio and Ennio Morricone appear side by side thanks to Burclay's dexterous selection style, with some chilled moments like Fon-Kin's "Monticello" proving to be real highlights.
Review: With a title like "Take Your Shirt Off", you'd expect this cut from Exploited regular (and new Compost Black Label signing) Cocolores to be suitably pumping. While it certainly possesses an addictive groove, it's more of a wide-eyed, jazz-tinged shuffler than an all-out banger. It's beautifully constructed, though, with near Balearic melodies perfectly complimenting the warm chords and pitched-down vocals. The decidedly bassier bonus cut "Keep On Running", on the other hand, oozes energy from the start. Yet it too is pleasingly deep, with warm piano keys slowly cascading over the stomping bottom-end groove. A shorter Radio Edit of "Take Your Shirt Off" completes a decent package.
Review: Mysterious, provocative and clearly talented at synth manipulation and beat fusion, Chinese / German art quartet C.O.W present their debut EP. Sitting somewhere between Stone's Throw, Future Classic and Trapdoor in its wavy, woozy, outernational style, each track glows with a purple aura and bumps like Bootsy in space. The juicy g-vibes of "Boy$", the skin-rippling chords and swag of "White", the tension-setting Indian textures on "Rodeo", the mooing blues and sexual switch on "Juice" and the paranoid bass sludge and Arabic mysticism on "Sweatshop"... The list goes on. Moove your body and do have a cow (not sorry)
Review: The Chinese / German outfit COW return to Compost for their latest EP entitled '$hanghai Money' and what an EP it is! The self-titled art project explores the future of bass music thoroughly across the breadth of this fantastic 5 tracker. Our highlight of the whole project is without a doubt 'Level Up', which builds from layers of beautiful synthesis into an incredible crescendo of auto-tuned vocals and 808s. The EP continues with phenomenal musicality, calling layers upon layers of perfectly sculpted synthesis into play along with expert sampling and endless rhythmic adventures.
Review: When exploring dance music, we are seeing more and more of a melodic influence moving into play in recent years, especially when diving into the swimming harmonies of artists such as 'C.O.W'. He lands here for a stunning selection of spacey originals, under the album name 'Internet', exploring blissful compositional structures and expert pad usage. We see guest appearances throughout from the likes of 'Dexter, Jake Masca, Jakob From Earth, Kid Simius, Masia One, Sola Plexus & Tahnee Matthiesen, all adding their unique twists to an already vibrant pot of influence. As for the solo creations, the sweeping melodies and uplifting vocal lines on 'Cringe Lords' and glitchy 8bit textures of 'CNDY' are immediate standouts.