Cologne-based super label Kompakt recently put on its annual Total party–this year saw the likes of co-founder Michael Mayer helm his mixing gear into what has been dubbed the Total 12 Megaset. The mix is over 12 hours long, and sees Mayer unleashing his vast array of musical knowledge over the course of the event. For those who impatiently scoff at the sight of hour-long mixes, the Megaset is a great opportunity to learn and embrace new possibilities in what is deemed 'club music'–the narrative style of Mayer's song selection sharply contrasts the popular aggressive-as-possible, lifeless mixes that dominate so many shows in North America.
Arising from a beatless introduction of lush melody, Mayer slowly pushes the mix into more rhythmically driven tracks (with an emphasis here on the word slowly given the length of his set). As the label explains, "in over 12 hours of playtime, Kompakt's main maestro didn't just go through the motions, but orchestrated a highly diversified array of electronic bliss, sending his listeners on a trip to the many landscapes of the Sound Of Cologne. Starting things off with succulent ambitronics followed by cutting-edge floorthrashers both old- and nuschool, Michael backed up every single phase of the party, shifting gears when needed, but always sticking to his narrational goals."
Michael Mayer – Total 12 Megaset by Kompakt
What Kompakt shows time and time again, is that the best electronic producers listen to and produce a vast variety of musical genres and styles, not limiting themselves to techno or dance-floor driven music but exploring everything that treads new paths, regardless of how outside-the-box it may be for traditional 'club' play. In a time where the DJ is more popular than ever, so many still fear taking risks and thus stick to entire sets of tracks that sound almost identical. What makes a DJ stand out is uniqueness and variety; those who embrace and practice it will always be remembered as pioneers and innovators, but those who fill their set-lists with repetitive monotony will be remembered as the Nickelback's of the DJ world–playing music that's able to draw a crowd based on dumbed-down mass appeal, but that is as empty and forgettable as the ramblings of Chad Kroeger and his fellow 'musicians.' Michael Mayer and Kompakt will always be remembered as a part of the pioneers.