Various Artists / ‘Joachim Spieth presents Selected 6′
Affin / Released December 6th
For those who didn’t pick up on it, Herr Spieth first cropped up when Kompakt was establishing itself as the foremost alternative, micro and arty house label in Germany. His release was called Abi ’99, fittingly in 1999.
You could go so far as to say it helped mix the concrete that continues to cement said imprint’s reputation on the global scene. Two years ago he set up his own platform, Affin, and output to date has been impressive. So it’s less surprising that the next thing we’re going to say is that we’d rate this anthology as one of the best compilations to have graced our CD player this year.
Kicking off with the warm, bar room house vibes of Nil By Mouth’s Clavicle, the direction the next 16 tracks are about to take won’t be very clear to newcomers. Perhaps because there really isn’t a stylistic focus here, other than that everything represents the contemporary sound of various sub genres of 4/4. Because while Alessio Mereu’s hi-hat happy punchiness is a logical next step, few would imagine that the same disc could soon offer up Chemie’s peak time, dark techno roller Entropy. A dance collection that surprises but stays familiar? Now you’re talking.
Such a wealth of treats are in store, in fact, that it seems disrespectful to move on to the second playlist without referencing other opening highlights such as the gospel-like worship session that is Googy Banter by Little Fritter, or CJM’s bouncing Self. Still, we only have so much space, and as such we do need to move on. On the flip pitch-black noises are all over Raus from BCR Boys, Tom Pooks teams up with Laurent Pepper to drive us into pretty massive breakdowns throughout Patun, before Marc Miroi and Joachim Spieth come chugging along to steal the show with Last Exit, albeit via Bjoern Stolpmann’s excellent remix.
Usually, when summarising an album full of club music, the words ‘won’t be for everyone’ are never too far behind. In this case it’s somehow almost the opposite, as melodious tech chords sit adjacent to menacing minimalist druggyness. Similarly, good time grooves are present and correct elsewhere, confirming that good quality house and techno is as much about diversity within a sound, as it is intricate seamlessness and unnoticable DJ work.