gullbuy music review

Sonar Kollektiv - compiled by Dixon


Sonar Kollektiv - compiled by Dixon


Sonar Kollektiv

various artists CD

Sonar Kollektiv - compiled by Dixon CD coverI had enjoyed listening to and spinning music by Sonar Kollektiv, but for much of the time I enjoyed the music, I did not understand exactly what the Kollektiv was. I came to discover that the ambiguous entity was founded by Berlin's DJ and producer team Jazzanova in 1998 and is a network consisting of producers, musicans, DJ's and other artists. Recently, Sonar Kollektiv decided to transform itself by no longer producing albums through sub-labels. Now, all Sonar Kollektiv music is to be on the Sonar Kollektiv label. Correspondingly, the Kollektiv decided to issue a compilation to commence its new existence and, much in the spirit of the Gullbuy, showcase some hidden jewels among the Kollektiv's stacks. Thus, Sonar Kollektiv chose its DJ Dixon to compile tracks for the album.

The album is diverse and not disappointing; kudos to Dixon. With styles ranging from reggae to house, he took a broad sampling of the Kollektiv's offerings while maintaining contiguity. Though the CD is not formatted as a continuous mix, the tracks may leap from one style of music to the next, but it is never jarring to the ear. The style of the Kollectiv, with its elements of synth, lucid harmonies, and generous use of the drum machine, are pervasive and testify to the distinctiveness of the album and the Kollektiv itself. Because of the diversity of the album, the listener may not enjoy every track; certain tracks will catch one's ear and get one's foot tapping depending one's musical tastes.

This listener enjoyed the album as a whole, but particularly liked:

Track 2: A remarkably good reggae track found in an unlikely place. This track is a solid traditional reggae piece with a subtle twist of synthesized drums bearing the mark of the Kollektiv.

Track 7: A spacey intro leads into a funky track with a Jazzanova-like piano and vocal harmony sound.

Track 10: A jazzy downtempo beat combined with smooth background vocals makes this track sound as if it could be from an ESL Music compilation.

---Matt Melanson, June 24, 2003