Various Kompakt 100

Plenty of music-lovers (and makers) sit around talking about starting up a label. But in the mid-’90s, this group of Germans — producers Michael Mayer, Jürgen Paape and Wolfgang Voigt — actually did it, expanding their Cologne record store into an imprint (and distributor) that has defined their city’s Teutonic tech-house sound. Over their 99 previous vinyl releases (hence this comp’s title) Kompakt has remained a reliable source of progressive-minded computer music, be it micro-house and minimal techno or electro-pop and the latest hot sub-sub-genre, schaffel. In celebration of their "jubilee,” artists such as the Orb, Paape and Wolfgang’s brother Reinhard have been assigned the task of remixing their favourite back catalogue tracks from the likes of Mayer, Closer Muzik and crossover act Superpitcher (whose "Tomorrow” gets the treatment twice). Throughout, the music is subtle, thoughtful avant-dance music — occasionally darting towards vocal pop — that revels in its ideological sparseness while never feeling like it’s lacking. It also manages to pull itself into time paradox, bringing the past into the present and then shoving it further forward.