Various Artists Total 15

Various Artists Total 15
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Known for its unwavering quality, Kompakt's long-running Total series continues to deliver a glimpse into the Cologne-based label's current direction, offering up a slate of recent favourites and unreleased gems from acts like Superpitcher, Gui Boratto, Michael Mayer, Blond:ish and John Tejada. Right from Audion's "Dem Howl," which features vocals from Troels Abrahamsen, the compilation shuffles between vocal-driven melodic numbers to more nuanced techno tracks like Michael Mayer's "Humm," which is anchored by a thick, gauzy bass line that characterizes the second half of the song.
 
Cuts like "Skin & Bones" by Terranova or Matias Aguayo's "Run Away from the Sun" strike a careful balance between the label's carefree approach to the dance floor and its underlying techno aesthetic, without sacrificing any of the momentum needed to keep the party going as the sun rises. There aren't a lot of surprises on Total 15, but that's part of the reason the compilation series is still around; while it doesn't offer up any game changers, it does provide a snapshot of Kompakt's eclectic and, ultimately, satisfying vision of electronic music in 2015. (Kompakt)