Total 6

Kompakt is such a remarkable organization. It's hard to overstate their ability to maintain ranks, quality and output all at once. The Total party, held every year around this time, celebrates the company as a whole, and every member of the roster contributes, right down to the cook. We feel privledged to have witnessed Total 6 both with our eyes and with our cameras (that's Scott Sans the Speaking In Code DP across the room on the catwalk above).

The highlights were too numerous to mention, and we hope some of our blogger friends can contribute with other photos, because it was impossible to be in three places at once. When Rex the Dog, Michael Mayer and Superpitcher are all playing at the same time, what do you do?

Some photos of our favorites. Click to enlarge:

Rex the Dog live on decks and efx. At one point his sequencer came unplugged. I hopped up on stage and plugged it back in. Just doing my part ha.

Reinhard Voigt live downstairs. Thought my camera was going to malfunction. It was quite steamy. Voigt had the crowd eating out of his hand like they were a stray cat.

Justus Kohncke. This is a picture of the audience because the front was so jam packed it was insane. Justus and band (three people in all) were like a cosmic disco dream.

DJ Koze closed out the night upstairs with a ridonkulous 4 hour set of clangy, rambunctious teschno that was accompanied by the sound of so many empty glasses crashing to the floor. He was as animated as any DJ I've ever seen. He loves it.

Tobias Thomas might have been our favorite. Maybe it was the length of his set (5+ hours) or the fact it was so late and he was so smooth, but we also heard a lot of our own playlists. The journalist/Kompakt all-star threw memorable moments from NY Excuse to Phoenix.

Before we crept into daylight, the remarkable Herr Thomas dropped a tune from Mathias Aguayo: the most-anticipated Kompakt release of 2005. Aguayo plays a sleek, seductive techno-lounge style. Here's "De Papel" which features German artist Max Turner on vocals. It sent the crowd (that was left) into a swooning sway.

Mathias Aguayo - "De Papel feat. Max Turner"



Germany is to techno what Tennessee is to Rock and Roll: a sort of musical melting pot which was fed by technology. In the case of Tennessee, it was better guitars; in Deutschland it’s better drum machines. So, Kompakt is the Sun Records of the new electronic sound.

Starting Wednesday, the C-O Pop festival takes hold of Köln (Cologne) Germany and an endless list of talent is slated to be, well, city-wide. The heart and soul of the new scene, though, is Kompakt.

Kompakt is a cultural cooperative that incorporates production, distribution, retail and promotion. There are few labels like it in the world, if any. Housed in one building in Köln, it maintains all it’s facilities under one roof. Record studios, shops, offices and kitchens.

sQuare productions is going to Köln to film the third segment of the documentary Speaking in Code. And to take as much of it in as we can.

I hope we can blog a little from Köln, and some photos as well. We shall see.

Kompakt recently launched an MP3 site, which is a pretty brilliant move, considering the label has devoted fans in far-flung places. It’s also massive as they can maintain their aesthetic as a distributor, as a shop and as a cultural entity. Click around and buy some things.

Kompakt MP3

The Total series is available in the US on CD/LP at
Forced Exposure.