Germany’s Michael Mayer has been entrenched in electronic music since the late ’90s, working as a DJ/producer/remixer and co-running the famed Kompakt label with Wolfgang Voigt. At the end of October he released his third album, &, a follow-up to 2012’s Mantasy. Instead of hunkering down in the studio by himself and forging tunes, Mayer’s latest is a wonderful collaborative effort featuring a notable list of talented artists including Gui Boratto, Joe Goddard of Hot Chip and The 2 Bears, Friendly Fires’ Ed Macfarlane, Miss Kittin, Roman Flügel and Prins Thomas. The seed of the idea was planted in 2015 when he began doing back-to-back DJ sets that allowed him to experiment and transform.
As he continues to gallivant around the world playing music, we managed to connect with the globetrotting Mayer and found out which five artists he’s currently drawn to. Here they are listed in no particular order.
1. Les Disques De La Mort
I always hold my breath when Ivan Smagghe puts out the next release on this adventurous label. He’s not afraid of taking any risk because he knows how to navigate through the shallow waters of abysmal dance floors. He has just released a new album with Tim Paris under a very suitable nom de plume: It’s a fine line. Everything Ivan touches is deadly serious in a most boisterous way.
For me, this Italian producer is pretty much the hottest thing in 4/4 business right now. In real life he’s a geologist, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that he rocks. [Laughs]. Sorry, I had to use this pun for once. If you like your raw, dramatic and dangerous then Fango is your man.
3. General Ludd
They say there’s nothing new under the sun. Electronic music is stagnating, they say. I say listen to General Ludd. Their music is as futuristic as it is completely bonkers. If Fango is the Dario Argento of techno, then General Ludd are the musical equivalent of Christopher Nolan’s Inception. Check out their new Mister Saturday Night release and you’ll understand.
4. Music From Memory
This Amsterdam-based label has taken my home stereo by storm. Some of their releases are formerly unreleased material from the ’80s, some of it is contemporary. It’s hard to tell which is what. But it’s all so super smooth that you want to take the rest of the year off and focus on improving your mojito mixing skills.
5. Marvin & Guy
More Italians in this list. But why not? Italy has such a strong legacy when it comes to dance music — from the good old Italo Disco days to the still to be revisited early ’90s deep house scene. Marvin & Guy made a name for themselves with daredevil edits but they’re also accomplished producers and DJs. Their remix for AFFKT is purest sweet poison.