Kolsch / 1977
CD/ Digital / Vinyl
Kompakt / Released July 2013
If you’re familiar with Speicher, otherwise known as Kompakt Extra, then there’s very little chance Kolsch’s work will have passed you by. A veritable imprint stalwart, those that recognise the name will know it stands as a benchmark for production quality.
As is exemplified in this album-cum-collection of work old and new, which doubles up as both a fantastic introduction to the artist for newcomers, and an essential purchase for established fans. Albeit this is no ‘Best Of’ compilation in the traditional sense, void as it is of predictability in terms of track selection and the obligatory rushed contemporary tracks that seem to define many Greatest Hits LPs.
Then again, given the idea behind this album, it’s safe to say most people would have expected the dancefloor classic Opa to appear, with its instantly recognisable analogue droned melody, staccato shots of snare and gradually building groove. And, similarly, this collection sans Silberpfeil would be missing a trick, with the commanding yet harmonious main room tech grower a particularly prominent item in the artist’s back catalogue.
In truth, though, as is the modus with electronic beats, the fresh material will be the biggest selling point. Basshund‘s repetition of synth keys, filtering and distorting to create a seriously compelling hook, has understated but impossible to forget anthem written all over it. Meanwhile, Eiswinter‘s combination of gutteral, rough and ready b-line, along with echoed, somewhat atmospheric vocals, confirms why Kolsch and Kompakt’s Extra platform have made such happy bed partners, creating a tough, driving but ultimately unique listening experience. Quality business from start to finish.