June 2, 2006

Michael Mayer & Reinhard Voigt / Davidovitch - Speicher 36

Ronan Fitzgerald: Presumably there are people in the indie kid turned Kompakt kommunity that don’t start thinking “calling Mr Raider, calling Mr Wrong, calling Mr Vain” when they hear “Transparenza.” Shame on them! “Tranzparenza” is essentially a great piece of pop trance just in time for summer. And if you’re going to break a trance taboo, then why not do it with an air raid siren?! On the flip Davidovitch’s “Cellophane” continues the summer in the 90s theme. I’m too young to remember if Ace of Base released “12 inch versions,” or what kind of seedy underworld clubs played these, but if they did then “Cellophane” is surely what they sounded like; stomping dub basslines for the holiday resort beach.

Nick Sylvester: Coulda told me Davidovitch’s b-side was Senor Coconut stabbing at some sideways America’s Most Wanted, Commish or New York Undercover theme, I’da believed. This is by far the most shoulder-jiggly synth-noir wax I’ve heard out the Speicher series, which once used to put out real dance(able) music but now has become a repository for shitty basslines like this one, blup blup blup, fat guy doing the stairmaster. I appreciate the “steady beat with crazy shit on top” approach—crazy shit here being some dentist drill sounds and a dude talking about stuff—but this is camp at best, and it’s too slow to dance to anyway.

Know what? I think Mayer and R. Voigt actually do take a cop theme for their side. Listen to “Transparenza,” then listen to the turnaround on (the original) “Axel F.” The whole thing is a pleasant if not accidental Rex the Dog homage, the synths way too rounded off for either Mayer or Voigt. And like Davidovitch, crazy shit on top is the game’s name, but these vets pronounce their beats better, their snares crumpling not snapping, their smarts in the kicks.

Kompakt Extra / KOMEX36

December 22, 2005

2005: The Year In Review

A look into the year that was in electronic musics…

Top 10 Albums

Matthew Herbert – Plat du Jour
Audion – Suckfish
Vitalic – OK Cowboy
Ark – Caliente
Dandy Jack & Junction SM – Los Siete Castigos
Marc Leclair – Musique Pour 3 Femmes Enceintes
Pier Bucci – Familia
Who Made Who – Who Made Who
Lindstrom & Prins Thomas – Lindstrom & Prins Thomas
Alex Smoke – Incommunicado

This young Glaswegian producer’s debut came on like a shock: marrying a heady combination of electro, old school techno, minimal, and an innate pop sense. A collection of tracks that were just as liable to make you stop dancing in wonder, as it was to get you on the floor…

Top 10 Singles

Booka Shade – Mandarine Girl
Spare Time - Lazy
Luciano – Bomberos
Donato Dozzy & Exercise One - Skarciofen
Common Factor – That Was Then
Unai – Oh You and I
Royskpp feat. Karin Dreijer – What Else Is There?
Daso – Daybreak
Patrice Baumel – Mutant Pop
Stefan Goldmann – Blood

After previously appearing on the smaller Classic and Ovum labels, Goldmann steps up to the plate for Perlon’s 51st release—three enormous monster tracks of clicks and bass that start out with the most modest of intentions…

Top 5 DJ Mixes

Dominik Eulberg – Kreucht and Fluecht
Ewan Pearson – Sci.Fi.Hi.Fi, Vol 1
Annie – DJ Kicks
DJ Clever – Breakbeat Science 5
DJ Naughty – One Naughty Night in Berlin

Showcasing the vocal-end of electro-house, while throwing in classic disco and Italo to boot, DJ Naughty further pushed the dirty disco sound to its limits on this mix from the Eskimo label…

Top 5 Producers

Jesse Somfay
LCD Soundsystem
Putsch 79
Nathan Fake

Finding himself on seemingly every single DJ mix released this year, Fake had a massive year on the residual effects of the classic “The Sky Was Pink,” Traum’s 2005 crown jewel, “Dinamo,” and the white label of “Silent Night”…

Top 5 Remixers

Ricardo Villalobos
Abe Duque
Switch / YES Productions
Robag Wruhme
Stuart Price

Almost made the Killers listenable. No mean feat.

Top 5 Labels

Get Physical

Located strategically across the road from Kompakt HQ, the Traum family had its best year yet with strong entries from known quantities (Steve Barnes, Dominik Eulberg, Jeff Samuel) and a whole host of new producers (Alex Under, Jesse Somfay, Noze, Patrice Baumel)…

Top 5 Reissues

Keith Hudson – The Hudson Affair: Keith Hudson and Friends
DJ Shadow – Endtroducing
Luomo – Vocalcity
Prince Douglas – Dub Roots
AFX – Hangable Auto Bulb

Richard D. James’ formerly ultra-rare drill ‘n bass template sounds as fresh as ever, showing why betting on jungle in 1995 was the best decision he ever made…

Top 5 Compilations

Cybotron – Motor City Machine Music
V/A – Spectral Sound, Vol. 1
Senor Coconut – Coconut FM
Robag Wruhme & Wighnomy Brothers – Remikks Potpourri
Greg Wilson – Credit to the Edit

The first time that this dance music pioneer’s work has been collected. If you were going to clubs in the 1980s, Greg Wilson was your soundtrack—extending and tightening the tracks that you liked and turning them into the epics that you loved…

Words: Todd Burns
Voting Contributors: Todd Burns, Nate Deyoung, Michael F. Gill, Cameron Macdonald, Derek Miller, Mike Powell, Will Simmons