v/a: KX 2015 (KX, 2015)

February 3, 2016 at 10:27 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

v/a: KX 2015

v/a: KX 2015

This double CD compilation is the inaugural CD release on KX, which is pretty obviously a Kompakt sub-label, although I’m not quite sure what its significance is. Other than Reinhard Voigt, all of the artists on this collection are lesser-known, but they all fit in with the shuffling, hazy Kompakt sound. The tracks are generally minimal but atmospheric, and a few have some eerie touches, like the floating vocals and spare acoustic guitar plucks on Luis Junior’s “Numina”. “Jonas Rathsman’s “New Generation” injects a bit more of a buzzing bass sound, but is an otherwise driving, slightly melancholy melodic tech-house track. “Euripides’ “The Dreamer” is a nice long dreamy breakdown-friendly track that gets a little more playful than some of the other tracks here. Krisztian Dobrocsi’s “Subwolfer” is a bit more heart-tugging, with shimmering starry synths, a crackling beat, a slightly wobbly bassline, and some clipped, tearful vocal samples. Kelly Sylvia’s “Sapphire” is closer to Kompakt’s pop side, with a few spare words calling out only when necessary, and the synths likewise creeping up over the basic beat. It seems like there’s too little going on at first, and the vocals seem like they’re going to be skip-worthy at first, but no, it all comes together really nicely. Reinhard Voigt’s contribution is simply titled “RV 01” and it seems like a pretty nondescript minimal techno track with a slightly squirming bassline, but it doesn’t seem like there’s a need for it to be anything else. Euripides’ “Melancholy Days” builds and blossoms, with triplet arpeggios and a fragile, flower-petal breakdown. It’s also not quite as sad as its title suggests. Gadi Mitrani’s “Key of Stillness” is a classic hippie-raver-girl-babbling-while-on-ecstasy track, similar to (for a recent example) Marco Shuttle’s astonishing “Sing Like a Bird” and I’m sure a ton of ’90s goa trance records that I have no interest in hearing. This one’s good though. It’s all about paying attention to the bubbles in your mind, or something. It makes you want to take out your yoga mat onto the dance floor. Even though this may be the equivalent of Kompakt’s minor leagues, it’s still a good showcase for some hidden gems.

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