Review: Before Compost Records came along, DJ Rasoul's The Return of the Mad Funk EP had been one of deep house's genuine rarities: a 12" that was slated for release in 1998, but for which only a handful of test pressings were ever made. It's Rasoul's great "lost record", so it's terrific to see it finally getting a release. Opener 'Smoothed Out Funk' is little less than superb: a rolling deep house gem built around, synth-funk bass, rich Rhodes chords, a bumpin' sub-bass line, spacey melodies and tasty beats. 'Pyscho Funk' brilliantly flips the script, putting the same flash-fried funk riff at the heart of a bumpin', peak-time fusion of boogie-era disco and chunky house, while 'Just a Funky Groove' is a tidy house take on a Funkadelic classic.
Review: As the title suggests, this expansive collection from long-running Munich staple Compost Records gathers together gems - mostly previously heard, but with a smattering of unreleased cuts - from the last couple of years. There's much to enjoy throughout, and plenty of variety (the latter a hallmark of the label's output over the last quarter of a century). Our picks of a very strong bunch include a pair of atmospheric Afro-tech club cuts from Pablo Fierro and Raoul K & Rancido, a lusciously deep and squelchy Luke Vibert remix of Felix Laband's 'Righteous Red Berets', a hypnotic tech-house take on Marsmobil courtesy of Ripperton, the slow-motion, Sly & The Family Stone influenced funk-rock haziness of Enzo Elia's 'Desert' and the deep, acid-flecked electro of Godot's 'Phonem'.
Review: Since being introduced to each other via their girlfriends a while back, Anau Obiols and KAYYAK have spent plenty of time together in the studio. This excellent EP on Compost Records is the first time they've showcased their joint endeavours, but we have a feeling it won't be the last. 'Chang'an' is simply superb, with South African singer B'utiza and Mozambican vocalist Tchecho making their presence felt above a driving backing track rich in booming bass, elongated organ chords, layered percussion and tight, funky TB-303 acid motifs. 'Gant De Nit' is deep and groovy, with a funkier bassline, bouncy Afro-house drums, Afrobeat organ stabs and echo-laden clipped guitar sounds. Throw in two tidy, club-ready reworks from Kalabrese and MLiR, and you have an essential EP from two fast-rising talents.
Review: 'Kenyatta' is Swahili for "burning spear", a fact that this writer - weirdly - learned entirely by coincidence just the other day (because it's also the name of a 1970s reggae album). That gives you a pretty strong clue as to the Afro-flavoured nature of this latest offering from German nu-jazz stalwart Rainer Tr?by and friends: complex, rolling hand percussion, trumpet fanfares and chant-style vox form the backbone of the Original mix, with flutes making an appearance in the midsection breakdown, while the accompanying Afro Balearic Mix from Laroye is fairly self-explanatory, opting for more smooth-flowing percussion and a hazy, lazy feel overall.
Review: German nu-jazz stalwarts Compost come with their latest V/A best-of, which features 12 full-length back catalogue tracks plus a 77-minute DJ mix courtesy of Art-D-Fact and Rupert & Mennert. Given the label's long history, and their status as leading lights of the nu-jazz scene, you probably have a pretty good idea what to expect already: suffice to say that with tracks from the likes of Kyoto Jazz Massive, Beanfield and Truby Trio you're unlikely to be disappointed, while special mention should be made of Gabor Deutsch's deep, two-steppy Lovely Dub of Minus 8's 'Badman & Throbin', which is one to check even if you're NOT usually a big nu-jazz lover cos it's packing some serious bump!
Review: Fresh from much-loved outings on Freerange and, most recently, Isolate, Dergman deep house duo Clavis (AKA Manuel Tur and Adrian Hoffmann) make their bow on Compost Disco. The fact that it's appearing on the long-serving Munich label's disco-focused offshoot is a clue what to expect. Confirmation comes quick and fast via opener 'Rocket Dial', an arpeggio-driven workout that adds sustained, spacey-sounding synth chords and trippy acid lines to an Italo-influenced, arpeggiated groove. They switch focus on 'Aviaco', gazing lovingly towards the sun whilst delivering a mid-tempo Balearic disco soundscape that once again boasts some mind-mangling TB-303 style motifs. Finally, closing cut 'Green Steel' is another sparkling, all-action tribute to the throbbing synthesizers and lo-fi machine drums of electro-disco.
Review: Earlier in the year, Web Web served up an epic set of "Interpretations", with a range of hip-hop style beat-makers offering hazy, head-nodding reworks of their 21st century jazz jams. This follow-up remix package is generally a little more club-focused and features superb dancefloor-friendly takes from Mousse T (a warm, revivalist boogie-meets-jazz-funk version of 'What You Give'), Hector Romero & Ayala (tech-house/jazz-house/Afro-house fusion), and Michel Cleis (a typically hypnotic and life affirming deep-tech take on 'Maroc Blues'). Throw in a couple of killer, club-ready dancefloor jazz interpretations from Khalab and a sub-heavy, post-dubstep rework of 'The Ring Of' by L One, and you have a genuinely brilliant remix package.
Review: Fred Und Luna claim to be a pair of fashion store mannequins and have described their music as "Krautelectro". In real life it's just one guy, Karlsruhe native Rainer Buchm?ller, but the Krautelectro part is as good a tag for the music he makes as any! The influence of Ralf, Dorian and co is stamped all through the headphones-friendly 'Im Weltenraum' like a stick of rock - and Buchm?ller thankfully has the chops to carry it off - but the album's perhaps at its most interesting when that glacial synth-y blueprint is departed from slightly, as on opener 'Zkyklopaedie Nummer 28', where delicate piano gives way to an ominous electronic bassline, or on the funk-infused 'Disco Nueve'.
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: Legendary Euro-synth pop duo outta Germany, Paso Doble - most notable for charting hits like "Computerliebe", "Herz An Herz" and their Fantasie album (1985) - hook up with Kenyan vocalist Idd Aziz and DJ Mastershine! The original cut, "Tishiki", pairs a spiralling synth line some deep 'Richie Hawtin' techno-bass with the spiritual, chant and song of Aziz, punctuated by a slamming afro-rhythm and percussion. A beefy remix and bonus dub comes from ManOo who hones in on a booming loop, pumping its drums and thinning out the vocals in the remix, with beats and melody only in the dub. Tishiki!
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: Hamburg-based Ivorian Mr Raoul K has long been one of the best producers of Afro-infused house around, a fact confirmed by last year's terrific "African Paradigm" album. Here he delivers the the third volume in the accompanying EP series,which features a trio of previously unheard collaborations and remixes. To kick things of he joins forces with Pablo Fierro and vocalist B'Utiza on "Ancestral", a deep, tech-tinged chunk of Osunlade style Afro-house that strikes a near perfect balance between percussive power and melodious dreaminess. Fierro returns to action on the track that follows, offering a dark, hypnotic tech-house take on Manoo collaboration, "Bara". That comes accompanied by an arguably even better Dub Mix, which includes some fantastic stereo panning and haunting snippets of Ahmed Sosso's intoxicating lead vocal.
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: Shockingly, this is not only former Clap Your Hands and Freude Am Tanzen artist Laolu's first release for two years, but also a rare solo outing (in the past he's collaborated with Raoul K and Kadebostan). Title track "Force" is particularly strong: an evocative slab of spacey deep house/tech-house/Afro-house vocals featuring his own manipulating vocals, tons of layered hand percussion sounds, and elongated chords that tend towards the poignant and melancholic. "Swango" is equally as impressive, with Laolu wrapping sharp electronic pulses and lilting lead lines around a Raoul K-style Afro-tech beat, woozy bass and dreamy chords.
Review: Music for a late night supper club somewhere under the starry nights and smokey haze of Manhattan's jazz scene. Cool, breathy, and refreshingly smooth jazz arrives once again from a four piece who to date have released all three of their records with Munich's Compost, with this Worshippers LP following Dance Of Demons from 2018. A most refined and polished listen that eloquently blends a cool jazz sensibility with deeper, heart pulling strings, overtly heard on tracks like "Mystic Flowers" and "The Upper (Part 1 & 2)", with more ragtime, lonely trumpets and sleuthy numbers to be found in "Free A.M. (Part 1 & 2)" or "Two Faces Lost" featuring the vocals of soul, R&B, and African folk singer Joy Denelane.
Review: Following Compost's recent release of the Automat album, featuring Max Loderbauer Paul St. Hilaire, aka Tikiman, and Lydia Lunch, the label quickly moves on to Joy Denalane & Web Web, a project with an equally majestic style of cool, free and lounge time loving jazz sessions fitted with electronics, roomy splays of drums and crooning vocals. You dig?
Review: Five cuts here that, as the name suggests, will appeal to Afro-house lovers, though which of side of that equation they lean more towards varies from track to track. The M&R Action Mix of 'Bara', for instance, is more or less your standard-issue prog/tech house throbber except for the African vocal, whereas the M&R Slowmotion Mix of the same has tribal drums and a more 'Afro' feel all round. Auztin Pauers & Ezrael's remix of 'O Mera Dil' is the best bet for more generalist house floors, while the Tenek Dash Shake On Da Beach Mix takes the same track into Balearic/leftfield pop territory, with the Kuniyuki Remix of 'African Paradigm' completing the EP on a more abstract, world music-ish note.
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.
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".
Kele Bila (Stop Fighting) (feat Ahmed Sosso - dub) - (8:45) 118 BPM
African Paradigm (All Chapters) - (28:27) 72 BPM
Review: With three previous long-players under his belt in a production career that dates back over 10 years, Mr Raoul K should need little introduction to Afro-house lovers by now. That said, though, for this latest album the emphasis is very much on the 'Afro' side of that equation, as he explores an assortment of tribal rhythms and vocal chants. As a result, you're unlikely to hear many of the tracks here cropping up in house sets; you can, on the other hand, expect the likes of Gilles Peterson, Rob Da Bank or Mr Scruff to be in raptures.
Review: For the second volume in the "Compost Disco Selection" series, label founder Michael Reinboth has rounded up some of the German imprint's most magical disco-house moments (though, we should add, it's not all disco-house in the traditional sense of the term). There's naturally plenty to set the pulse racing throughout, from the angular electronic disco-funk of Indoor Life's "Voodoo (Chocolate Garage Production Mix)" and the throbbing loop-house cheeriness of Tiger and Woods' classic remix of Pitchben's "Stand Up", to the spiraling peak-time disco-with-house-drums of John Gazoo's "Midnight Runner (Vintage Mix)" and the kaleidoscopic boogie-house fun of Purple Disco Machine's remix of Lorenz Rhode's boogie-flavoured "Back". As you'd expect, Reinboth's accompanying DJ mix is tons of fun, too.
The Cowing (feat Jakob From Earth) - (3:42) 155 BPM
Cringe Lords - (3:14) 152 BPM
Shang Dang (feat Jake Masca) - (2:58) 110 BPM
Review: We are here ready to enjoy some fantastic new electronic creations from the Compost Germany team, who offer up this brand new project from Cow C, entitled 'Epic'. We firstly dive into 'The Cowing' a stunning piece of EDM production, smashing together emotive arpeggiators and colourful pad textures to create something truly magical. This is then chased up by the angelic vocoder layerings and super gritty breakdowns of 'Cringe Lords', before we then finalize the project with a dive into 'Shang Dang', over which the smooth yet raspy vocal lines of Jake Masca join us.
Review: Hearty congratulations to Michael Reinboth, whose Compost Records' imprint recently celebrated its 25th birthday. As a way of marking this momentous occasion, the label has conjured up this expansive compilation, which offers up a blend of fresh remixes of label classics, overlooked revisions, bonus cuts and the odd hard-to-find classic (see Move D's superb "Hurt Me", which first appeared on the imprint in the mid-90s). Highlights are plentiful from start to finish, with Roman Flugel's throbbing rework of Beanfield's "Human Patterns", I:Cube's LFO-influenced re-make of A Forest Mighty Black's "Fresh In My Mind", Joakim's funk-fuelled acid take on Marbert Rocel's "Dance Slow" and Die Orangen's wonderfully druggy interpretation of Marsmobil's "Sometimes I Don't Regret" all catching the ear.
Review: Compost Records' 25th birthday celebrations will soon ratchet up a notch or two via the release of an epic vinyl box set of rare cuts and fresh remixes. Before then, there's the small matter of this fourth "Overture" EP. Nu-disco don Purple Disco Machine offers up a pair of colourful, peak-time ready remixes of Lorenz Rhode's P funk influenced stomper "Back" (the talkbox-sporting Vocal version being our pick), while Liquid Phonk joins the dots between deep house and synth-heavy disco on the suitably gorgeous Starwalk. Arguably best of all, though, are the skanking Spiller vocal and Dub remixes of Truby Trio cut "Make a Move", which brilliantly join the dots between vintage ska and 21st century deep house.
Review: Munich label Compost presents five top producers on an outstanding new EP - installment 146 to be precise! Hamburger Mr Raoul K takes on New York City legend Timmy Regisford on the spiritual raindance vibe of "MP" (Gongon Alt mix) ,Italian disco legend Claudio Coccoluto (The Dub) getting deep down and dirty on "Funky Now" as well as as ascendant Venetian Lehar (Diynamic) delivering some of his moody and melodic dancefloor drama on "Everything I Ever Did" and Sicilian Musumeci (Innervisions/Kompakt) doing his usual majestic thing on the gripping "Mr Q".
Review: Fred und Luna are two mannequins living in a fashion boutique in Karlsruhe, Germany. They serve as muse for musician, lector, poet and photo/video maker Rainer Buchmueller. After previous outings on Frank Wiedemann's label Bigamo, JD Twitch's Optimo Music and Innervisions, Fred und Luna release their new EP which directly follows up the album Im Tiefenrausch - also on Compost Records. "Im Tanzrausch" sees them come up with four hypnotic and tribal 'Krautelektro' pieces, ready to find their way to the dancefloor. From the kosmische journey of "Der Elektrolektor", electro samba for showroom dummies on "Compostonikum" or the rather Kraftwerk sounding "Es Ist Heiss".
Review: 25 years strong and still going steeply: Compost will release an anniversary compilation in 2019 in seperate parts and it's certainly a riveting affair on the third edition. We have label staples Fauna Flash with their 2001 underground goodie "Tel Aviv" remixed by fellow Bavarian: melodic techno sorcerer Recondite, Panthera Kruse's former project Marbert Rocel from Leipzig have their track "Dance Slow" reworked by French enfant terrible Joakim, and Detroit veteran Delano Smith goes deep into the night with his version of "Owl Flight" by Karlsruhe's Shahrokh Dini. Rest assured that more of Bavaria's finest appear such as Ilian Tape's The Zenker Brothers who make a surprise appearance with their rip roaring renditions of label staples Truby Trio on "Galicia".
Review: A quarter century has passed since Michael Reinboth founded Compost Records in his home city of Munich. To celebrate the imprint's 25th birthday he's commissioned a bumper selection of reworks of back catalogue tracks, releasing the results over a trio of EPs. This second volume begins with Balearic specialist Phil Mison's synth-heavy nu-disco revision of Siren's modern NYC disco cut "The Way", before Ewan Pearson steals the show with a sublime vocal version of Tomasz Guiddo's "Hide" rich in pulsing, arpeggio-style synthesizers, lilting horns and elastic disco bass. Arguably best of all, though, is Gerd Jansen's rework of Lorenz Rhode's "Back", a stomping, full-throttle interpretation that gleefully harks back to the early days of Italian house and turn-of-the-90s synth-pop.
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: Shahrokh Dini's DJ successes are rightly celebrated: not only in his hometown of Karlsruhe in South Germany, but worldwide as well. In early 2016, he decided to open a new bar, right in the heart of the city called Monk Bar. He has released for Bavarian imprint Compost for the sixth time here on the label's 145th edition. Melodic deep house of the most hi-tech quality is provided on "Change" that is right in line with the label's aesthetic, followed by the moody and hypnotic drifter "Arman" which is perfect to play at the later hours in the morning.
Review: Earlier in the year, U.S disco and house legend Danny Krivit took his scalpel to Emilie Nana's super single "I Rise", a warm and woozy fusion of shuffling beats, visions of Shiva chords, blissful electronic melodies and stylish spoken word vocals. Now Compost has turned the track over to another bona fide U.S legend, Wave Music man and former Prelude remixer Francois Kevorkian. Predictably, he does a superb job, re-casting Nana's original as a constantly building cosmic house epic on his superb, near 12-minute "Journey Vocal" version. His subtle percussive changes and ear for atmosphere come to the fore on the suitably trippy and head-in-the-clouds dancefloor Dub, while the "Bonus Beats" take sees him layering up the drums and effects with incredibly impressive results.
Review: Ever-eclectic What Ever Not label boss Dodi Palese comes to Compost Black Label with a fine three-track EP. 'Erika' is up first, a shuffle-y, warm-up friendly cut with a dense, dusty feel, arpeggiated keys and just a hint of prog... which paves the way nicely for 'Rain Dance', a languid track that sits right on the deep house/progressive house cusp, and as such could find favour with a wide range of DJs and dancefloors. A more urgent, throbby remix of the latter by Lehar & Musumeci completes the EP which, like much of Palese's (and indeed the label's) output, is one for the connoisseurs rather than mass consumption.
Review: Germany's Web Web outfit are, inarguably, making some of the finest contemporary jazz around at the minute, often expanding into outernational terrains, such as this latest album for Compost, Dance Of The Deamons. "Land Of The Arum Flower", like much of the album, feels like a well-balanced blend of Mulatu Astatke, for the enigmatic tonalities, of Sun Ra's unpredictability, and much of the session jazz found on imprints like Strata East. Enchanting and psychedelic are two words that spring to mind when hearing the depth and details of tunes like "Agowu" or "Maroc Blues", but the point here is that you are getting some of the only jazz to tap into the African music as well as this. In fact, we'd categorise this as Afro first and foremost, served with a rhythmic sequence of instruments and compositions that are traditionally at the 'jazz' end of the spectrum. Worth a good old listen and, yes, it comes highly recommended.
Review: Dachau's Phillip Stoya (Glenn Dancer) is back on Compost Black Label with his second release on the Munich based imprint. The Fuchur EP features three functional tech house cuts that will do the trick on any occasion. From the tension and suspense of "Larue" with its driving arpeggio bassline and blasts of white noise, the majestic and slightly balearic tinged "Neklar" with its hypnotic polyrhythms and squeaky synths or the hypnotic and wonderfully elevating "Gruma". It's far to say that Stoya has indeed nailed another great EP.