Well done to those charged with whittling down the electronic titan’s platinum anniversary down to just two discs — let’s also hope part 1 actually means there will be a part 2. Should your opinion of German labels be a stale cliché — maybe it’s those hard Ks in the name lending themselves to straight-talking effectiveness/ruthlessness — you’ll be thrilled by the automation of Justus Köhncke, Leandro Fresco and Dettinger, though perhaps less enamoured with little flits of the flatter that include Matias Aguayo’s “Walter Neff” not seeming to fit in anywhere.
Those knowing Kompakt’s creativity are offered the sumptuously funky (Aguayo via DJ Koze) as a smooth veil to the mechanised edges and components, found in the everlasting chugs of Voigt & Voigt’s disco-techno “Vision 03” and The Field’s “Over the Ice”. Minimalist techno tradition is held close, done as an all-for-one, inclusive against narrow-minded span. Out of Michael Mayer’s good n itchy deep houser “Lovefood,” comes the crossover-ready “Transient” by Pluxus and its snooping Ford tie-in, and Heiko Voss hankering for a hammock gives the collection quite a head-in-the-clouds headstart.
The excellent disc two gets down to business with techno for the head while leaving your heart heaving. It becomes a battle and balance between light and heavy (of which John Tejada is the most brutal), organic and automated (Rex the Dog getting synths to squirt and stun), and the freedom and focus of The Rice Twins, Jonas Bering, Kaito, Lawrence, GusGus and Gui Boratto.
Berlin has been the epicenter of modern techno and minimal house. For this reason, it’s atypical that Gui Boratto—one of the scene’s most celebrated figures—hails from São Paulo, Brazil. While life in Berlin might be about making music, networking and parties, Brazil offers more of a “normal” home life for Boratto. “I do think it’s nice to be far away from all the parties because you can be more focused to produce music,” says Boratto. “But at the same time, I think it’s good to live around the music and references. I still live in Brazil because I love my country, my way of living. Also, I have family here, my wife, daughter, my parents and friends.”
Although he’s relatively new to the dance music scene, Boratto spent nearly a decade making music for Brazil’s advertising community. Some of the skills he picked up while making music for advertising is often displayed in Boratto’s trademark melodious techno tracks. “Chromophobia and my new album, Take My Breath Away, were albums created without thinking about the dance floor or clubs. There’s no concern about dancing at all,” Boratto says. “When I was doing music for advertising, the thing that most annoyed me was an obligation to reach the clients expectations and the product’s needs. That’s one of the reasons I’ve decided to make my own music, absolutely for pleasure.”
“I don’t think too much when I compose. It’s a thing that comes really natural.”
With music based more around melody and song structure, as opposed to simple 4/4 beats, it might not come as a surprise that Boratto’s source of musical inspiration comes from a who’s who of melodic and melancholic artists including Sisters of Mercy, The Cure, Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes, João Gilberto, Dick Farney and Ivan Lins. While not overt in Boratto’s sound, these artists were all floating in his subconscious during the production of his latest album. “I don’t think too much when I compose. It’s a thing that comes really natural. Maybe, sometimes, I’m angry and I try to express my anger with melodies. Melody is a think that can make you sad or happy, without any substantial reason. That’s why music can be really incredible.”