Review: As one of the co-heads for Cologne-based Kompakt, city native Michael Mayer has helped to curate their distinct sound aesthetic for over two decades, and is equally revered behind the decks for his epic and masterful sonic narratives. Mayer returns to his beloved imprint for a new offering entitled "Higher" which is his first original contribution to the label in eight years. This is a playful and uplifting tune with an old school aesthetic, taking its cues from his humble beginnings in Italo disco and early 90's US deep house. This is followed by the moody "Doot Doot" led by its hypnotic jacked vocal, and lastly the brooding dancefloor drama of "Take A Stand For Love" with its roaring Reese bassline tearing through the speakers.
Review: Times have changed since Jake Williams first donned the Rex The Dog alias for Kompakt in 2004, but his ability to deliver ear-pleasing, synth-heavy dancefloor cuts has never faltered. "Vortex", the lead cut from the producer's first EP on 2019, is a particular potent example of his art, with Williams building and releasing tension via sparse, spacey lead lines, new wave style synth chords, matter-or-fact techno beats, trance-inducing motifs and some suitably mind-altering breakdowns. It's arguably his strongest club cut for years and certainly the most alluring. Over on side B, "Elektromekanik" sees Williams brilliantly alternate between moments of loved-up, rush-inducing dreaminess and thrillingly angular, hard-wired modular electronics.
Superpitcher - "Monterrey Paris Texas" (feat Daniel Maloso)
Golden Bug & The Liminanas - "Variation Sur 3 Bancs"
Rebolledo Y El Nino Paulor - "Cruising Nevada"
Fantastic Twins - "Between The Dog & The Wolf"
Gen Pop - "Aride"
Sascha Funke - "In Der Tat"
Paulor - "We"
Mount Obsidian - "Casa Delfines" (Cubenx edit)
Lake Turner/WEM/Hand - "East County Lines"
The Novotones - "Angel Of Doomsday"
Review: Kompakt have a knack for calling on their impressive pool of talent and pushing them in interesting conceptual directions. So it goes on this second volume of Velvet Desert Music, where the mysterious allure of arid climes meets with the slinky grooves of the 70s and 80s. It's a style the likes of Michael Mayer and Superpitcher can turn their hand to in style, and likewise the likes of Mount Obsidian do a stunning job capturing a dusty soundtrack atmosphere on "Ride". Look out for the jangling death funk march of Sascha Funke's "In Der Tat", a clear highlight.