Founded in 1998, the ever-classy Kompakt Records label grew out of a Cologne record store and has been one of the techno world's mostly highly-regarded labels since its inception. Kompakt's first Total compilation came out in 1999, and 15 years later, after a brief hiatus in 2013, they've put together a 14th installment.
Total 14 officially released yesterday, and the two-disk compilation features a highly-listenable blend of tracks from newcomers and staple producers alike. Highlights include some of the label's most poignant tracks of the year, like Dauwd's moody "Lydia", John Tejada's ethereal remix of The Field's "No. No...", COMA's playful "Atlantis", Maceo Plex's "Conjure Superstar" (the NSFW video for this one recently turned heads), and recent Blond:ish release "Wunderkammer", alongside exclusives from artists like Weval, Superpitcher, Voigt & Voigt, and more.
We were able to chat briefly with Kompakt co-founder Michael Mayer about the work behind the compilation, what remains for Kompakt for the rest of 2014, and taking things a step at a time. Read on to learn more, and make sure to purchase Total 14 via iTunes!
EM: What kind of work goes into putting out a great compilation?
Michael Mayer: Imagine it like a grape harvest. It's the result of a whole year's work, as the Totals always showcase the label's highlights. The whole thing gets enriched with a bunch of exclusive contributions by the core family of Kompakt. It's always a great pleasure to select the best tracks of the past year and sequence them in the best possible way.
The team is the star... just like in football. That's why sometimes a newcomer's track would end up as the opener and the "stars" could be somewhere in the middle or end. The compilation should be an enjoyable listening experience, it should feel like listening to a DJ set or an artist album rather than just a random collection of hits.
EM: What's Kompakt focusing on for the rest of the year?
MM: We've got an extremely busy year so far and there's no slowing down until the end. Gui Boratto's new album is ready to go and there will be singles almost on a weekly basis. I'm especially excited about Weval's debut EP dropping later this autumn, two super-inspired youngsters from Amsterdam. Also, Matthew Dear's Audion project is coming for a quite spectacular visit. Patrice Bäumel will be debuting on Speicher, Prins Thomas remixed four tracks from the previously released Vermont album, for the first time in years the new Pop Ambient will be ready before Christmas, and much more...
EM: What's something you've learned from helping run a label for so long?
MM: Take it one step at a time. Never push too hard. And most importantly, let your heart do the A&R work.
EM: What has been your favorite musical moment so far this year?
MM: Listening to Leonard Cohen during a magical sundown at the seaside.
Total 14, CD 1
1. Dauwd - Lydia
2. COMA - Atlantis
3. Gui Boratto feat. Coma And Hell - Take Control
4. Kölsch feat. Gregor Schwellenbach - Cassiopeia
5. Terranova feat. Cath Coffey - Headache
6. Dave DK - Palmaille
7/A. Superpitcher - Delta
8/B1. Saschienne - Horacio Delirium
9. Blond:ish - Wunderkammer
10. Gunjah & Niconé - Disko 90
11. Maceo Plex - Conjure Superstar
12/B2. Weval - Something (Live)
Total 14, CD 2
1. DAMH - Black Night
2/C1. Thomas/Mayer - Unter Hölzern
3. Thomas Fehlmann - Eye
4/C2. Voigt & Voigt - Tischlein Deck Dich
5. Sebastien Bouchet - Broken Heart
6. Michael Mayer - Lamusetwa (Matias Aguayo Mix)
7. DJ Tennis feat. Pillowtalk - The Outcast
8/D1. The Modernist - Die Fette Gazelle And The Hidden Sixpack
9. Partial Arts - Taifa (The Emperor Machine Mix)
10. Justus Köhncke - Loop
11. The Field - No. No... (John Tejada Mix)
12. GusGus - This Is What You Get When You Mess With Love
13/D2. Jürgen Paape - Heuriger
- Kompakt Records
- August 18, 2014