gullbuy music review

Kompakt Total 6


Kompakt Total 6



various artists 2xCD

Zonk CD coverTotal 6 is the sixth double CD compilation of tracks from Kompakt 12inch singles. Kompakt is the label from Cologne Germany that has a well defined sound and aesthetic. The records on the label are either dreamy 'pop ambient' electronic pieces, or glitchy tracks built on top of steady disco-derived 4/4 beats.

On CD 1, DJ Koze starts off with Hicc Up, which sets the pace for the record, and is one of the stronger tracks as well.

Duch Die Nacht brings 80s electropop star Andreas Dorau into the present with a killer collaboration with Justus Köhncke that is my personal favorite on Total 6. The track has a harder, more persistent feel than many of the other tracks on the comp, and the female vocals give it a Eurodisco feel not that far from the sound of Cerrone.

As unlikely as Andrea Dorau's appearnace on Kompakt is, Baxendale's is even less so. Baxendale are an electronic indie-pop band with a Pet Shop Boys sound, whose You Will Have Your Revenge LP was one of the highlights of 2000. Since then, all that has been heard from them is the (excellent!) Your Body Needs My Sugar 12inch on the Scheinselbstaendig label.

The MFA just put out a 12inch on Ellen Allien's Bpitch Control label. Their contribution to Total 6 is The Difference It Makes. The song slides in with a 3 minute intro that features bass guitar and a pulsing synth. At that point processed vocals start, and the song bubbles along like robot bubblegum till it mid-point breakdown to silence, which it comes out of with an encore of the intro.

Though it's the third song, the second disc kicks off for me with the track Panic Room by Thomas Fehlmann and Michael Mayer. It is an instrumental with a lot going on, and many interesting sounds scraping just below the rhythmic center.

Slow is the killer track by Michael Mayer and Matias Aguayo. Aguayo was half of the duo Closer Musik, and his voice is easily recognizable on this track. The hook comes when a female voice whispers "give me love - give me love ... so I can kill."

The CD ends with another fave, Action by The Field. The melody of Eddie Kendricks' Motown track Reach Out I'll Be There, originally recorded by Four Tops, becomes the center point for this electronic instrumental. It is an uplifting closer for the set.

Total 6 is very much music-of-the-moment - it probably won't leave a lasting impression a half year from now, but the music on it matches the aesthetic of the graphics on the sleeve - very clean, concise, and modern. To my individual taste, seven out of the twenty four tracks on it are pretty fine. You may enjoy an entirely different set of tracks (except for the Andreas Dorau track - anyone will love that one!), so considering the low price of admission for this set, it seems a decent buy.

CD1: 1,2,5,9
CD2: 3,4,12

---Carl, October 4, 2005