Various Artists - Kompakt 100
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Various Artists
Kompakt 100

I haven't been a follower of Kompakt Records since the very start, but I have to admit being drawn in ever-closer since first hearing of them about a year back. Specializing in a brand of minimal thump, their textural dancefloor music is almost always very high quality and the label has become one of those that most people can rely on when they're wanting to hear a certain sound. Instead of simply compiling a bunch of previously-released tracks for their 100th release, though, they've let artists both on their roster (and not) rework some of their favorite tracks from the first 99 releases.

Some may cringe at the mention of a "remix" disc, but there's really no need to be afraid when it's such a bunch of like minds working together that obviously have a mutual respect and admiration for the work of one another. While tracks are reworked, the original spirit of none of them is lost and in all cases the remixed work fits right into the lexicon of what the label releases anyway. What it comes down to is 2 CDs, 20 tracks, and about 2 hours of great music that is exclusive to this release, and that's a good thing.

The first disc opens with an absolutely gorgeous reworking of Ulf Lohmann's "Because Before" by The Orb. With a simple 4/4 beat and washes upon washes of lovely textures, it's unlike anything you'd expect from the group, but it opens the compilation on a high note. From there, things get a little more standard dancefloor with the repetitive thump of a DJ Koze reworking of Reinhard Voigt's "Zue Dicht Dran" while Sascha Funke tweaks Thomas Fehlmann's "Radeln." The first disc hits a high with the Joachim Spieth reworking of Michael Mayer's "17&4" and Kaito's subtle uplift of "Tomorrow" by Superpitcher. Combined, the two tracks provide both an emotional (uplifting) as well as a musical peak to the first disc (if not the entire compilation).

The second disc opens very similar to the first disc with the ambo-thump of Michael Mayers "Pensum" retooled by Markus Guenther. One of the weirder tracks on the entire compilation follows with the almost chunky french-pop sounding rework of "Hot Love" by Freiland/Frei. With vocodered vocals and a romping beat, the track recalls Royksopp more than Kompakt, but it's not entirely a bad thing. One of my favorite tracks out of the 20 is Dettinger's "Intershop" getting overhauled by Jonas Bering. Swirling with washes of sound that sub-melodies that sound like something Wolfgang Voigt would put together, the track is a subtle masterpiece that some of the more bumping tracks on the release simply can't match. All in all, the Kompakt 100 isn't quite as strong of a release overall as some of the things that have been put out on the label (it's bound to happen when you have so many different people involved), but it's also a good place to start if you're just getting into the label and really a must have for fans and well worth the reasonable sticker price.

rating: 7.7510
Aaron Coleman 2004-07-15 00:00:00