[album review] jürgen paape: kompilation

January 27, 2011

Album cover for Kompilation by Jürgen Paape

Jürgen Paape: Kompilation (Kompakt, 2010)
£5.46 from [eMusic] (requires membership) – £6.99 from [Boomkat]

As co-founder (with Wolfgang Voigt and Michael Mayer) of legendary Cologne house and techno label Kompakt, it’s perhaps surprising we haven’t seen more from Jürgen Paape over the last dozen years or so. While he’s released a sprinkling of EPs since the late 1990s he’s shunned publicity and live appearances, which is fair enough.

Now, though, he’s decided to step into the (relative) limelight alongside his label peers by releasing an album that collects tracks from across his career to date – a greatest hits of sorts: Kompilation.

As you’d expect it’s solid stuff, reflecting the minimal ethos of Kompakt but with a poppier edge. Indeed it’s the pop that provides some of the best moments on Kompilation: We Love (from 2007) features Aksel Schaufler (a.k.a. Superpitcher) on vocals in a track Kelley Polar would be proud of; So Weit Wie Noch Nie (“Further than ever before” from 2002) satisfyingly captures the special, unthinking state only the dancefloor can induce; Come Into My Life, a European club hit in 2008, creates an irresistable Cerrone-like disco groove.

Other highlights include Fruity Loops #2 – killer dancefloor tech-house – and, as a bit of light relief, Ofterschwang, an alpine oompa ditty combined with an seventies sitcom style melody – great fun. And new single So Wird Die Zeit Gemacht (“This is how time is made”) is a classy exercise in hypnotic trance-pop.

Although the tracks were recorded over a 12 year period there’s a remarkable coherence to them. They each share a solid but light sound palette (gliding rather than flying, as it were) and a restrained, precise emotional palette typical of German electronic music ever since Kraftwerk – the Kompakt signature. Recommended.

close to 94 rating: ★★★★★★★

This review is part of close to 94‘s [emusic club], which reviews releases from the eMusic catalogue.

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