Kompilation Kompilation


Jürgen Paape Jürgen PaapeKompilation

8.5 / 10


Kompakt, home of romantics, a pasture for electronic dreams and isotonic nostalgia for those who move their bodies with glassy eyes. If we had to put the usual suspects in a line-up and pick out the one most likely to make the Cologne label into its own danceable sub-genre, there is no doubt that right next to Michael Mayer would be Jürgen Paape. The company’s co-founder hasn’t exactly stood out as prolific when it comes to throwing down material, or been notable for his desire to be in the spotlight. Little or nothing is known about him, nor is it necessary. Paape is like the Barça football club under Pep Guardiola: he speaks on the field. His scarce production is so devilishly brilliant, his style so polished, his evocative ability so insulting, that everything else is buried under a very thick carpet of talent. The German manufactures dance music in dream format that verges on being so great that it’s sometimes scary. It brings together the virtues of Kompakt and defines a style like no one else has done, so a compilation of this calibre looked to be necessary both for fans, who until now had to collect Pappe’s 12” albums as if they were panning for gold, and for new generations of listeners who weren’t familiar with the maestro’s arts.

Brought together under one roof, the songs feed off of each other seamlessly. They work together. The work has the same impact as an LP, you never have the feeling that you’re listening to a greatest hits collection. The quality is so high that there is no discontinuity or disconnection between songs: you listen to the whole thing without even realising it. Even the segments with less depth and the greatest primary drive offer overwhelming strokes of genius. In “Fruity Loops #2”, for example, Jürgen resorts to a progressive hammering and an 80’s feeling that is as simple as it is implacable: a simple techno mosaic, yes, but constructed piece by piece and with a dizzying aftertaste of epic victory. “How Great Thou Art”, possibly his most simplistic construction, gives off an air of greatness through waves of synthesisers, voice effects, and an intricate skeleton of autumnal house music. Even the extravagant “Ofterschwang”, sort of a circus march that could fit in with “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves”, is chiselled finely, exquisitely, and exudes an unclassifiable humour (check out the applause of the public following the rhythm in the last seconds).

But Pappe becomes a god when he decides to cook up emotions and danceable impulses in the same pot. When it comes to this job, very few can hold a candle to him. This is when he comes up with such incredible compositions as the mix of“Silikron” (a female voice, a wall of synth-pop sound, tech-house nerve), “Mit Dir” (dance-floor melancholy in its purest form with an overwhelming voice sample), “We Love” (the closest he comes to electronic pop), or the most recent single, the cinematic dance-floor- breaker of a song, “So Wird Die Zeit Gemacht.”

But if we had to kneel down and stick out our neck, it’s clear that “So Weit Wie Noch Nie” is the magical moment. Almost ten years after it first saw the light, it is clearly the production that best defines Kompakt’s electronic nostalgia and pop sensibility: the voice loop in shades of sepia, distant echoes, lethargic bpm’s, a sea of synthesisers, static electricity. It is a prodigious creation that winds its way up your spine and moves you. Six minutes in your mother’s womb, six minutes of pure happiness, six minutes that have been etched in fire in the most recent Bible of German techno. It is also the demonstration of how great Kompakt was a few years ago and how enduring the legacy of its heroes is. This album has a sweet smell of eternity that sticks in your nose from the first track until its exciting close with “Ausklang”, a hypnotic regression of tearful ambient that will make your hair stand on end. The only thing you can reproach them for is that this CD has a title that is unfair to its contents, because a compilation is still just a simple compilation. And this “Kompilation” is a masterpiece.

Óscar Broc

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