Michael Mayer (l) and Superpitcher DJ at the Kompakt 100 after-party in Cologne. Photo by DJ Koze.
Where's all the hate in techno gone? Come to think of it, where's all the techno gone? 15 years of peace, love and unity have turned what was once a radical and political music into a slobbering blob of E-soaked blandness that couldn't be more unfashionable if it started wearing a Mylo t-shirt and a N.E.R.D. trucker hat. I don't know, you can point to labels like Cologne's Kompakt with all its fruity, whiter-than-white German shuffle techno and cool clean minimalism as an example of where-it's-at hotness in terms of advanced dancefloor entertainment, but even their stuff is totally indebted to some fluffy Utopian rave ideal that never existed, or maybe did once but that was in Ibiza in the mid 80s when no-one was there except Mike Oldfield.
In fact, Kompakt's so big these days that wherever you go in Europe (and that includes the UK, duh), all the bars and clubs are playing the latest Speicher mix CD or that fancy new Rex The Dog single without even blinking, like Kompakt's a hallmark of wholesome good taste so always check the label and that's good enough. Now I'm not a hateful person but when I see that people aren't thinking for themselves and just following the trend or whatever, a red mist descends. So thick and violently crimson was the fog this time that Vice had to ask Michael Mayer, one of the main guys at Kompakt, what was going on. He's a sweet man and a brilliant DJ and his new album Touch is great too, but honestly, WTF?
VICE: Dude, Kompakt has released about a billion records but they all sound the same. What are you doing?
Michael: It doesn't matter what music you listen to as long as it's always the same. We worked very hard on making banging shuffle techno sound like ambient and German gay "schlager" like nerdy experimental minimal. Shouldn't you apologise on behalf of Kompakt for making raving even more boring?
Sorry that we've bothered you guys. The next UK garage revival is coming for sure. And always remember: a party is only as boring as you are. How do you explain what's happened?
It's like a barbecue: at Kompakt we started a real nice and hot fire. But it's not our fault when people put stinky sausages on it. What else?
I wouldn't mind conquering the gay club scene. Unfortunately it got so boring since the middle of the 90s, at least the Cologne scene did. They still listen to handbag house. Unbelievable!