13 Songs, 1 Hour 26 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The twelfth edition of Total, Kompakt’s annual compilation series, provides familiar pleasures. 12 maintains the high quality that fans expect from the influential German techno label, but it is an album of genre refinements rather than breakthroughs. The collection opens with Kolombo’s “Waiting For,” a fairly mellow outing decked out with soundtrack atmospherics, a simple vocal hook, and at one point, Latin percussion. Label honcho Michael Mayer remixes WhoMadeWho’s “Every Minute Alone,” which features weary, melancholy singing. Mayer’s’ own “That’s What I Told Sanchez” starts off with a layered audio-verité passage before it turns into a throbbing dance track, where odd vocal snippets and loops keep popping up. Matias Aguayo’s “I Don’t Smoke” mixes humorous vocals, rumbling drums, and gloomy keyboards, while Coma’s “Playground Altona” radiates utopian energy and schoolyard sounds. Gui Boratto’s “The Drill” spotlights a variety of distorted effects that ride a groove that moves forward like a determined monster. The always-reliable Wolfgang Voigt (a Kompakt co-founder) is represented by the standout “Frieden,” a cut haunted by operatic samples.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The twelfth edition of Total, Kompakt’s annual compilation series, provides familiar pleasures. 12 maintains the high quality that fans expect from the influential German techno label, but it is an album of genre refinements rather than breakthroughs. The collection opens with Kolombo’s “Waiting For,” a fairly mellow outing decked out with soundtrack atmospherics, a simple vocal hook, and at one point, Latin percussion. Label honcho Michael Mayer remixes WhoMadeWho’s “Every Minute Alone,” which features weary, melancholy singing. Mayer’s’ own “That’s What I Told Sanchez” starts off with a layered audio-verité passage before it turns into a throbbing dance track, where odd vocal snippets and loops keep popping up. Matias Aguayo’s “I Don’t Smoke” mixes humorous vocals, rumbling drums, and gloomy keyboards, while Coma’s “Playground Altona” radiates utopian energy and schoolyard sounds. Gui Boratto’s “The Drill” spotlights a variety of distorted effects that ride a groove that moves forward like a determined monster. The always-reliable Wolfgang Voigt (a Kompakt co-founder) is represented by the standout “Frieden,” a cut haunted by operatic samples.

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