Various Artists – Total 12 (Kompakt)


The Total series on Kompakt has become a annual summation of the the beat orientated work emanating from this Cologne based label. It is a very slick affair with the minimal techno house verging on slight disco aesthetic opening the album in Kolombo’s ‘Waiting For’ which is as close to syrupy pop as the album delivers, a crescendo sucker of a track with the beatific sampled vocals of Howard Jones delivering the hook. Then to dispel the pure pop spell is Michael Mayer’s remake of WhoMadeWho’s ‘Every Minute Alone’, a mid paced vocal dub techno number hung on a simple hypnotic motif. Seasoned producer GusGus delivers ‘Over (Life and Death Mix) which is classic techno dance filler, sparse with heavy drum programming, hand claps and some vocal interludes. Superpitcher’s ‘White Lightening’ is more minimal techno fare while Micheal Mayer’s charged and peturbing ‘Thats what I told Sanchez’ is a thumper with all the bells and whistles as well as a cavalcade of twisted vocal effects sure to elicit a wild floor response. Gui Baratto’s ‘The Drill’ is definitely a prime example of main floor Dj’s weapon of choice, the production, immediacy, complex patterns and slow build layered synth with stomping bass. The Modernist’s ‘Remodernist’s a fast paced tricky beat number that keeps one foot in the hyptnotic minimal camp and the other in a triumphalist horns and hands in the air aesthetic. Wolfgang Voight’s ‘Freiden’ an operatic backed minimal house and scratchy glitch track with glistening melodic keyboard and strange panning effects.

This compilation stands out for it’s immaculate production, Micheal Mayer’s Kompakt is well noted for delivering high production value and all tracks demonstrate this inclination. However while it is an excellent summary of a year of Kompakt’s floor based material and an excellent Dj tool it does not break much new ground and it is almost as if the sound of Cologne techno has built up towards it’s fare as pop chart material.



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