Throughout most of the 1990s, you thought of techno when you thought of German electronic dance music. This is partly because labels like Force Inc, Tresor, Chain Reaction, and Kompakt, among many others, released a wealth of amazing techno throughout the decade. In fact, these labels became as well known, if not better known, than the artists they were showcasing. A decade later, an array of German house labels hope to follow the brand-name success of their techno predecessors, showcasing some of their best releases on EFA's series of excellent Inhouse samplers. This series of unmixed various-artists collections, inaugurated in 2001, compiles releases by some of Germany's most noteworthy house labels (or at least among those distributed by EFA, the premier carrier of German dance music circa the early 2000s). The samplers generally offer one track per label and represent the many styles of house music -- from the organic instrumentation of Stir15, to the jigsaw funk of Playhouse, to the heartfelt deepness of Freude am Tanzen, and everything in between. Volume three follows the second by only a few months, released in late 2002, and takes a slightly different approach, veering away from the jazzy deep house of volume two in favor of a more digitized style. Several of the inclusions even drift at times toward the kitschy electroclash sound so in vogue circa 2002: most notably the "Brooks Dance Mix" of Georg Levin featuring Clara Hill's "(I Got) Somebody New," Marlow's "Exposed," Rework's "You're So Just Just," and Steve Bug's "Shake the Funk." Elsewhere, you begin with the soothing deep house warm-up of Frankman's "My Inspiration," later move on to the peak-hour Latin house of Laurentius' "Over the Sea," and finish off the album with the free-form laptop jazz-funk of Soul Parlor's "We've Got Sneaker's On!" followed by the duo's remix of Soul Camp's "Crosshill."
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AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier