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Man with a plan

How come nobody told me Jess is back[note: link corrected]? People, you can't just assume I'm tuned into every heartbeat of the blogosphere; I need tips! Anyway, thrilled to see man like Harvell back and in firing form, especially on everyone's favorite label to dissect in all its microsampled minutiae, Kompakt. (You're wrong though, Jess, Rex the Dog -- which is, according to M Mayer, not Ewan Pearson -- is hardly the weakest Kompakt single of the year; in fact it's up there near the top for me. But nothing's going to beat Ferenc's "Cronch." And how come nobody's talking about Justus Koehncke's "Durch Die Nach"???)

(PS - Thanks to Jeff Chang for the link to Jess' new home.)


tip to keep updated with the music blogosphere:

just follow:

Music Blo.gs Updated 24/ 7

hear hear. i just discovered http://blo.gs today - makes it that much easier to stay on top of things.

kompakt - most overrated label ever? discuss.

they've put out some great stuff over the years, but of late (last 18 months maybe) they've let their quality control drop so much that i no longer have any interest in what they are releasing. shame.

enjoying the blog btw, keep up the good work philip.

disagree. the only tepid thing they've brought forth was Pass Into Silence...and considering their output in 2004 that ain't too bad. what else has gone sour for you?

I'm sorry, but that's just crazy talk. For starters, people don't really seem to cut them much slack when they do release duds - I think I'm the only person to find kind words for Pass Into Silence, and Superpitcher was initially considered a disappointment in ILM circles, etc.

Anyway, I'd much rather have the inconsistency of their current roster than the situation of the first 50 releases, say, where so much of it really was rather samey oom-pah dub house. I'll take Rex the Dog over Benjamin Wild any day... Kompakt's only real failing, in my book, is in not hiring a relationship counselor to get Closer Musik back together. The world is a much sadder place without them.

I know who Rex The Dog is!

That 12" gets right on my tits, though I've still got uber-time for Kompakt. I don't think it's fair to say that their quality control is slipping. They've perhaps gone in more of a kitsch/poppy direction of late, which isn't always to my taste, but they've always professed to have that string to their bow...

Their biggest failing..even bigger than the Closer Musik fiasco.. is not getting enough of those damn speicher record bags in stock.

Good, then it makes mine more exclusive... ;)

P.S. - Phil - Sorry I didn't make it round to your gaff in BCN. Don't hate me, plz.

yes they are releasing more than they ever have before, it seems to be a case throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks kinda tactics. after all it only takes one of the three core members to approve a record for it to be released. they have little interest in developing the music and innovating than in selling a bunch of records which conform to the kompakt "sound". i'll admit that big mayer-esque anthems and superpitchers brand of rave for retired ravers do not appeal to me, i much prefer perlon, playhouse, circus co, m-nus and so forth. so maybe it's a matter of taste... but i also think this current infatuation with kompakt for many is no different to the electroclash phenomenon from some time back, will it end the same way?

i dunno.

ooh, didn't no closer musik split up. after love was one the last things i really liked on kompakt.


For the record, Adverb, I prefer those labels also (Musik Krause is my current favourite, however). I used to buy Kompakt on sight when they were a young label (killer, off the wall dancefloor stuff, easy on the kitsch) but they lost me along the way somewhat. I still have massive respect for what they do, though. I know what you're getting at with the Electroclash comparisons. For a while here in London (UK) the music press seemed to be jumping on-board in their droves and it did seem like the Mullet Crew would join them on the bandwagon. This hasn't entirely been the case, however. Kompakt is definitely a cool label name to drop, I think, but I've only had to punch a couple of people out in clubs, screaming "I was there from the beginning...!" Electroclash was a bullshit, fabricated, style-over-substance scene (IMHO) but Kompakt has more substance (again IMHO), and I do predict longevity. Who knows, their releases may swing back more in line with your tastes sometime in the future.

nicely put nick, i can relate.

Hey Philip,

I just read your "Ed's Rant" regarding the supposedly Kompakt-led techno revival in the new XLR8R.

It's odd that Aquarius Records would claim that they don't want to have anything to do with "dance" and techno music. Do you know how many dance and techno-fingerprinted releases they've championed over the last few years?

-Oh, but like, you know, irony is like totally hip.

I love how "electroclash" is used as some sort of bogeyman, as if that scene hasn't produced a tonne of fantastic tracks (Felix Da Housecat, Jaques Du Cont, Ewan Pearson, Tiefschwarz, Black Strobe etc. etc. you know the score). God if we were to disqualify every dance scene that attracted a hipster quotient happy hardcore would be the only scene left standing.

And "Prototype" is a great record.

Yep, Kompakt was "my little secret" for a while... never dreamed it would be a cool label name dropper. Used to drive 2 hours just to go to their club on Friday nights. Too bad!

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