Various Artists

No Space for Dogma

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No Space for Dogma summarizes the previous year of releases from Kanzleramt offshoot k2o, a label from Berlin without a rigidly defined sound that has instead released a broad spectrum of styles of electronic music -- several shades of techno, tech-house, and even abstract hip-hop. The roster is just as spread out in a geographic sense, with its producers hailing from Cologne to Moscow to Brooklyn. With label identity a major factor in dance music, it's important for diverse labels such as k2o to release compilations like this one, since no single-artist release provides an adequate view of what the remainder of the label has to offer. The key highlight of the disc is Alexander Kowalski's remix of Dennis DeSantis' "Promotion of Vice," a Detroit techno/Frankfurt house hybrid with all the rich, emotional atmosphere of a Transmat (Aril Brikha, Tony Drake) release combined with the agile dancefloor flourishes of something from Force Tracks (MRI, Dub Taylor). Kareem's pair of dark beatscapes, "Beirut" and "You Are Finished," could be missing productions from the early days of Mo' Wax or the current days of Def Jux. The most distinct and memorable cut comes from tenEcke, whose "The Living Ice Age" bares a tricky, near-broken beat rhythm with a spare handclap track, steely background noises, and spindles of PiL-informed guitar that scratch and claw. Three experimental techno tracks from Hannes Wenner and Christopher Bleckmann (two as Monophace, one as Clubsessel) offer more funkiness than their dry, stark work as Niederflur. Finally, at just over three minutes, Apathism's teasingly brief "Twelve" takes the noir house style of Swayzak further into the darkness. Packed to maximum capacity with 18 tracks that clock in at just under 80 minutes, No Space for Dogma should have something to please every discerning fan of rhythmic electronic music.

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