Various Artists

Elektronische Musik Interkontinental 3

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As Traum continues to stockpile track after track of exemplary microhouse, the label seems to remain more than happy with releasing these compilations of exclusives. This has become the only frustrating thing about Riley Reinhold and Jacqueline Klein's Cologne label: while it can't be denied that the third volume of their Elektronische Musik Interkontinental series is even better than the first two -- neither of which were short on high points -- some of their best moments remain confined to vinyl. (If there's any recent 12" track that needs to be singled out for those who don't normally buy vinyl, it's Dominik Eulberg's "Afraid of Seeing Stars" -- a particularly heady creeper with a vocal contribution from AI's Gigolo Joe.) For a third time, several new names pop up, all of which factor in the greatness of the unmixed set. Adam Kroll's "Kostergarten" owes much to Akufen but nearly equals anything the Canadian has done; both Donal Tierney's "Text XXX" and Popnebo's "Of Course She Does" would fit comfortably in a sequel to Michael Mayer's Fabric mix; the Broker/Dealer remix of Margo's "La Baumette" represents what Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works II might sound like with a dubby microhouse overhaul; Michael Fentum's "Warm Hands" aims closer to arid, Echocord-style dub. Familiar names like Process, Oliver Hacke, and Jorge Gebauhr don't make fools of themselves, either. The real glory of Traum is that they can keep pumping out these comps and make tired ears feel as if they're hearing this kind of thing for the first time.

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