Michael Mayer


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Whenever something arrives in the shops with the name Michael Mayer affixed to it -- whether it's in the form of a remix, a 12", or a mix album like this one -- it's an event. It doesn't happen often enough, but when it does, disciples of the warm flavors of tech-house, click-house, micro-house, whatchamacallit-house, and experimental techno dealt out and curated by Mayer pay immediate perked-ear attention. It's with very good reason. Following four years after his mix for the Neuhouse label, Kompakt Köln Präsentiert Michael Mayer, Immer finds Mayer smoothly fashioning tracks from labels like Ladomat, Ultra, Trapez, Force Inc., and his own Kompakt into a luxuriant digital bubble bath of envelopingly rounded beats, misty, atmospheric smears, and the odd tug at the heartstrings. It might be something of a stretch to say this, but a few cursory listens to Immer could possibly leave you with the distinct impression that the 13 tracks tucked within it were produced with the sole intent to be placed in their rightful context here. The feel varies with subtle shifts from a casual drift to a breezy thrust, and each of the track-to-track transitions are as smooth as a freshly paved autobahn. The way the muffled hollow taps of M. Rahn's "Toaster" morph into the low thrums of Superpitcher's remix of Carsten Jost's "You Don't Need a Weatherman" (replete with a swirl of chirping birds) is one example of Mayer's mixing skills. Superpitcher and Tobias Thomas' mix of Phantom/Ghost's epic vocal number, "Perfect Lovers," is the emotional center, beginning with a haunting elegy of strings that gives way to a rolling beat bearing the distant echo of Joy Division's "Atrocity Exhibition." The mournful tone is only to be completely wiped away by the sublime, propulsive tones of Selway's "Flying Far," the panoramic paranoia of Paul Nazca's "Surface," and -- to close off the disc -- the disorienting punctuation of M. Mayer's remix of Frank Martiniq's "Adriano." Top notch, to say the least.

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