Michael Mayer

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Neuhouse Review

by Joshua Glazer

This disc is the first mix CD by Kompakt label head Michael Mayer. And while most entrepreneurs would use this opportunity to showcase their wares, this mix does not contain a single selection from the Kompakt catalog. Perhaps more significantly, while these tracks certainly represent the general sound of tech-y minimal house that dominates the musical community in Germany, this mix is far more lush and house-oriented than the mechanical dub beats that are Kompakt's most distinct output. Back-to-back mixes of Herbert's classic "Going Round" stand in almost contrast to the prototypical German machine sound with a loose bassline and sultry vocals. Even Mayer's own cut, "Super Trouper," exists closer to deep house than the minimal click one would suspect. It is not until the second half of the mix that the staunch robotic march of Reinhard Voigt's "Klar 2 offers an easily recognizable Köln sound. Soylent Green's early release on another German boutique label, Playhouse, predates techno's current electro fascination by several years, while Dom's "Fackeln Im Sturn" represents the prototypical looped dub sound with which Kompakt initially made its mark. Mayer displays a keen ability to avoid marginalization with an ear that is at once open enough for a variety of styles, yet succinct enough to carry a common sound throughout the mix. It is that same ear that has made Kompakt one of techno's premier imprints.

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