Total 9

Total 9

CD

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Overview

Total 9

"By renaming Delirium into Kompakt in the beginning of 1998, it was possible to manage the problem with the confusing jungle of names, logos, store, labels, etc." Part of an early Kompakt communiqué, this statement is ironic ten years later. By 2008, Cologne's premier techno outlet had expanded to house nine active and dormant sublabels. Releases from three of the subsidiaries -- Kompakt Extra, Kompakt Pop, and Kompakt Extra (aka Speicher), all with their own perceptible but intermittently vague aesthetic -- play a role in the ninth Total compilation, the fourth consecutive volume of the series to contain two discs. Given all this content sprouting from one source with several nodes, it's hard to imagine that Kompakt once licensed tracks from other labels to fill out their annual overviews. Now, from year to year, there is an abundance of previously released, exclusive, and upcoming material to showcase in the series. The CD version of Total 9 features four previously issued tracks from Kompakt proper, four from K2, three from Kompakt Extra, and one from Kompakt Pop. The remaining nine are either exclusive or a preview of an upcoming vinyl release. Tie it all together and, as with the other double-disc Totals, a few highlights are immediately perceptible while very few (if any) come across as poor. Many tracks, despite the execution, lack distinctive qualities. Across two discs, they're converted into one flatland of like-layered, likeminded productions of the not-quite-trance, not-quite-house, upbeat-but-not-quite-gleaming-or-euphoric variety. More than ever, then, the Total series resembles a buffet of DJ tools rather than a neatly bundled set aimed at home listening -- or, maybe that is the perception since there is less development, less change, in the sound of the average Kompakt release. So much of Total 9 sounds familiar, even if the previously released tracks are being heard for the first time. There are, as ever, some real standouts, including DJ Koze's "Zouzou" (an endlessly roiling cyber-tribal flagellator, as awing as his "Brutalga Square"), Matias Aguayo's "Minimal" (inexplicably taut, almost all percussion, and not lacking for its absence of bottom, if not as spectacular as Koze's disco remix), Burger/Voigt's "Wand Aus Klang" (gorgeous, pastoral techno-folk), and Partial Arts' "Telescope" (a dazzling tune that has more in common with peppy dance-oriented synth pop like Thompson Twins' "Beach Culture" than anything else).

Product Details

Release Date: 08/19/2008
Label: Kompakt Germany
UPC: 0880319036125
catalogNumber: 67

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