Boomkat Product Review:
It's always a major event when a Kompakt Total compilation arrives; you can assess the health of a good cross-section of Europe's techno output based on its tracklist, and this year would look to be another fine vintage for the legendary Cologne-based imprint. The label's big names are out in force, with all the main players cropping up - some of whom offer exclusive material, namely Supermayer, Thomas Fehlmann Jorg 'The Modernist' Burger and DJ Koze. In addition to all that of course, there's a stellar selection of highlights from the past twelve months of Kompakt's musical output. Justus Kohncke, a staple of these compilations is up first with his MySpace jibe 'No Thanks For The Add', an excellent, pulsing disco instrumental that's original and distinctive enough to avoid being accused of courting dancefloor trends. That's certainly not an accusation you could level at DJ Koze's 'Zouzou' either - it's a spiral of fluttering effects and all round auditory strangeness, somehow sculpted into a digestible 4/4 framework. There's no such strangeness from Superpitcher's meeting with The Congosound, which results in some great vocoded electro-disco in the shape of 'Say I'm Your Number One', and that's not the last Superpitcher collaboration of the first disc either: SuperMayer arrive with a loose and resolutely funky outing for 'Hey Hotties!'. Next, Jorg Burger defies expectations and lays down some vocal pop music (with actual acoustic guitars) on 'Modernism Begins At Home', before (well, look who it isn't) Superpitcher comes back for more, this time sans chaparone, and behind the desk for the breezy pop minimalism of 'Disko (You Don't Care)'. Before Disc One comes to a close you'll have run into a final stretch of tracks from Partial Arts, Burger/Voigt and Thomas Fehlmann, only for the momentum to be sustained on Disc Two by an opening slew of contributions from the likes of Dubshape, Jonas Bering and Robert Babicz. By the time you get halfway in, Gui Boratto turns up with one of the second half's standouts, 'Annuciacion', which deploys its pronounced sense of melody in a manner that's sufficiently clever to avoid be labelled as 'trance' but still offers an oasis of clearheaded expression before we get back to the juddering dancefloor dynamics of The Rice Twins' strobing synth odyssey 'The Signifier'. Two discs crammed with high calibre techno, you know what you're getting into with these compilations, and you certainly know you're not going to be disappointed. - they do after all survey a year in the life of one of dance music's most iconic institutions.