Search Results for:

KOMPAKT

Blank Gloss

Cornered

    Sacramento, CA duo Blank Gloss’s third album, Cornered, is an exquisite statement of pop ambient starkness, an album that oscillates between lush beauty and spare melancholy. It follows from their 2021 debut for Kompakt, Melt, an album that saw Morgan Fox (piano, synths) and Patrick Hills (guitar) aligned, loosely, with the cosmic pastorale of the ‘ambient Americana’ movement. Cornered feels like a significant step forward, though – by peeling back the layers of their music, they’ve revealed both its restful core and its solemn gravitas. It is unendingly lovely, but with something disquieting at its centre.

    Cornered was recorded quickly, over two days in December 2020. There’s nothing rushed or haphazard about the album, though; everything has its place, with each sonic element contributing profoundly to these nine miniature dioramas. It signals change, quietly but perceptibly, through the way the duo sculpts their material, building out of loose improvisations that morphed into songs. While there was no plan in mind when Blank Gloss settled into the studio, Fox recalls that “right away we realised that things were sounding and feeling a bit different than any of the sessions we had previously.”

    That difference can be heard in the increased amount of space Blank Gloss gift to their sound sources. Some of the most moving moments on Cornered come when Fox and Hills strip everything back – see, for example, “Crossing”, which sets pensive piano across a shyly humming drone and quiet arcs of guitar, recalling the driftworks of Roger Eno. Curiously, the album’s distinctive shape and mood develops, at least in part, from a change in instrumentation, with Hills using a MIDI pick-up on his guitar. “This resulted in making things happen a lot quicker,” Fox says. “It also helped create what I think is a bit more sombre, dark feeling to some of the songs.”

    Elsewhere, on songs like “Salt”, the piano tussles with flecks of guitar, single tones sent out to mingle with the stars, like Morricone at 16 RPM, while Cornered’s centrepiece, the eleven-minute “No Appetite”, lets long arcs of electronic texture breathe and sigh, tangling together in a cat’s cradle of bliss. Throughout, it feels as though the music is blossoming as you hear it, like watching time-lapse footage of flora in bloom. But perhaps the most seductive thing about Cornered is the sense you get, listening, that the music was something unexpected, a visitation. “It almost felt like we weren’t dictating where the music went and how it sounded,” Fox agrees. “We were just there in a room together in December and these sounds were happening, and we were lucky enough to be recording the process.”


    TRACK LISTING

    1. Sender 00:03:44
    2. Dusted 00:03:40
    3. Get Well Soon 00:03:22
    4. No Appetite 00:10:42
    5. Soda Lake 00:04:59
    6. Crossing 00:02:48
    7. On The Ground 00:04:06
    8. Salt 00:06:07
    9. Dressed Alike 00:04:08

    Perel

    Jesus Was An Alien

      The dance floor as devotional is a trope as old as the club itself. But, with her new album, Jesus Was An Alien, Perel subverts the stakes of our collective communion: Who are our arms raised to? Who are we seeking salvation from?

      “Jesus Was An Alien is a discourse about whether Jesus was an actual alien,” she explains, “but also a social debate about what is and implies religion today.” She offers up her provocative second record – her first on Kompakt – as a soundtrack for the listener’s own journey through the intricacies and ironies of modern belief. Picking up on the themes she brought to her debut, the 2018’s LP Hermetica on DFA, Perel has created ten tracks rich with spirit and allusion. Her influences are myriad, from the indie dance hitmakers of the early 2000s – Hot Chip, Simian Mobile Disco, Justice – to rave compilations that predate her ascent to the DJ booth, to more abstract inputs. Living with synesthesia, she says, “I feel emotions and colors piling up inside me, then there’s a triggering sound or event that opens a valve. My tracks are color streams that tell a story.”

      Jesus Was An Alien is not just multicolored – it’s multi-lingual too, slipping in and out of tongues in a single track, sometimes dispensing with words altogether (the ecstatic breakdown of “The Principle of Vibration”). The album features Perel’s voice almost entirely but for her special collaboration with Canadian songwriter Marie Davidson on the title track. “Jesus Was An Alien” stirs like a late-night revelation, a heady discovery awakened in the dark. Perel lays out a fiercely disciplined electro pulse, with Davidson’s proclamations growing more fervent over the song’s sensual stride. “I already said everything with my synthesizers and the melodies I created,” Perel explains of the collaboration, but “somehow she gave the song a voice I couldn’t.”

      Perel drives further not only spiritually but sonically across the ten tracks, taking thrilling production risks: standouts include her breathy vocals atop a melodic piano strut on “Matrix;” the delirious blur of ghostly chimes and disembodied voices of “Religion;” and the retro radiance of “The Principle of Vibration,” in which Perel exhorts us to “come on and vibe” over an athletic riff and shuffling percussion.

      “Kill The System,” meanwhile, hits the listener with tense acid pulses, building to only an imagined release and calls out the end of patriarchy. Album closer “Am Kanal” starts as a pensive cloud of a track, finally breaking into a rich textural rain of synths and stabs. The variety throughout Jesus Was An Alien underlines Perel’s purpose in this latest project; she’s experimenting her way to answers – or maybe just more questions. After all, she says, “questions are the beginning of something new.”


      TRACK LISTING

      A1 The Tragedy Of CG
      A2 Jesus Was An Alien (ft. Marie Davidson)
      A3 Real
      A4 Hunger
      A5 Matrix
      B1 Religion
      B2 The Principle Of Vibration
      B3 Kill The System
      B4 Life Aquatic

      Two years on since his last outing on the label, 'The Follower', Axel Willner puts on his Field suit again to present his sixth full-length effort for Kompakt, 'Infinite Moment' - which sees him striding further across the deeper, richer rims of the hue cycle.

      Substituting the uptempo vim of his previous pieces for a sense of mind-expanding horizontality, 'Infinite Moment' is an album filled with hope and draped in a diffuse, appeasing light; easing the pain and troubles of the human soul through a lushly forested recital of shoegazing modular, complex textural interplays and solar, atmospheric fractals. The matrix cut 'Made of steel, made of stone' gets the ball rolling on a thumping downtempo note, wrapping the listener up in hazy drones, fractured vocoder and rumbling bass tones. "Divide Now" is a proper sonic mitosis, engaging the metamorphosis to come; like a larvae pupating and reemerging weeks later from under rough bark in the form of a vividly coloured butterfly - fluttering breaks eventually shedding their skin then making way for a crucially more intimate and hypnotic second chapter. "Hear Your Voice" propels the lavish, pad-upholstered glamour of its melodic lines in the mixer for a bolder syncopated revisitation of '80s indebted pop harmonics, while 'Something left, something right, something wrong' returns to a flaring post-euphoric daze. Legs numb, mind confused and eyes lost into the greater whole, where nascent stars dance their way across the milky way to the rhythm of samba, and universal loving is no utopia.

      A more arrhythmic affair, 'Who Goes There' spins out into orbit wildly, fusing stealth acid bass moves with a haunting off-kilter motorik that bears The Field's seal of exclusivity, playing with the listener's mind intensely before the ten-minute-long epic 'Infinite Moment' ushers its listener in a highly immersive final ballet of buzzing chords, trampling drums and all-consuming drones. Syncing the self with its environment in ways never explored before, this album is a direct soul-to-soul transmission, aiming no further than at finding the right balance between contained emotion and an expressive eloquence. No fluff, no bluff - with 'Infinite Moment', The Field goes straight for the heart, stripping bare of all vain and futile attributes to focus on the very essential - He is hopeful, and so are we.


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Sil says: It is The Field again! You know the drill; the formula has not changed: thumping beat, ethereal melodies, trance-like loops and a sense of possibility always present. This one is as good as all the others. In my books, that is a very good thing.

      TRACK LISTING

      A1. Made Of Steel. Made Of Stone
      A2. Divide Now
      B1. Hear Your Voice
      C1. Something Left, Something Right, Something Wrong
      D1. Who Goes There
      D2. Infinite Moment

      Ghost Vision

      Saturnus

      A new force on the modern Balearic scene made of up Thomas Gandey aka Cagedbaby (member of Matom alongside Matt Edwards) and Daniel McLewin, half of UK-based production duo Psychemagik. Together they drop their first single on Germany's long running leftfield label Kompakt.

      "Saturnus" is an upright mano a mano between two musicians and their gear, unchained from all preconceptions and biases; real (machine) talk as the hip-hop heads would say.

      On "Zuul Passage" we get a twangy and Tron-esque futurescape generated by a good old Moog Voyager, '70s string machines', Oberheim OBXA, 303, Space Echo and the too little-known and equally little-used Korg Lambda. The track traverses remote kosmische-indebted expanses but hits close to the core with its deft mix of slow-burning spectral funk, textured outerspace pads and further stirring heart-searching harmonics. Subtly arranged yet leaving maximum room to the lively force of its original layout, it is a lovingly crafted piece of emotive and psychedelic magnitude that's seamlessly and almost effortlessly produced; allowing the listener to relish undistrubed in its sensuous offerings. 


      TRACK LISTING

      Saturnus (Ghost Vision Theme) 00:13:05
      Zuul Passage 00:11:33

      In the body of work of Cologne artist Wolfgang Voigt – who, like few others, has informed, shaped and influenced the world of electronic music with countless different projects since the early 1990s -, GAS stands out in particular, a saturnine sound cosmos based on heavily condensed classic sequences. Even after nearly 20 years, the sound of GAS doesn’t seem to have lost any of its luster, as shown by the commanding success of Kompakt’s fall 2016 re-release of the essential back catalogue as a 10xLP/4xCD box set.

      The overwhelming feedback from a loyal international fan community and worldwide media outlets attests once again to the sheer timelessness of GAS. Which is why it will feel like hardly a day has passed since the release of the last official album “Pop” nearly two decades ago, when Wolfgang Voigt resumes this specific creative path with the upcoming new full-length NARKOPOP.

      Even in the here and now, the unmistakable vibe of GAS immediately hits home, taking the listener on an otherworldly journey with the very first sounds, drawing him or her into an impervious sonic thicket, down to the depths of rapture and reverie. From wafts of dense symphonic mist emerges a floating and whirling feeling of weightlessness, before the listener steps into an eerily beautiful forest of fantasy, pulled in by the allure of a narcotic bass drum.

      While earlier GAS tracks were often based on the hypnotic effects of looping techniques, the 10 new pieces on NARKOPOP unfold their magic in a more entwined manner, sometimes with the sonic might of an entire philharmonic orchestra, sometimes as subtle and fragile as the most delicate branch of a tree with many. A main characteristic of Voigt’s oeuvre, the coalescence of seemingly contradictory stylistic aspects such as harmonious and atonal, concrete and abstract, light and heavy, near and far is also a decisive feature of NARKOPOP.

      In accordance with the transgressive spirit of his collective work, Voigt carries the aesthetic conceptions of his music over to the realm of the visual. Based on his abstract forest pictures, the GAS artwork addresses Voigt’s artistic affinity to romanticism and the forest as a place of yearning. For the first time, a closer look at the cover of NARKOPOP reveals signs of architectural fragments which hint at another, maybe parallel world behind Voigt’s forest. Truth is the prettiest illusion.


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Obviously, Voigt is an ambient legend. We all know this, and here he is in his GAS moniker. What we get treated to is dubbed-out atmospherics, static crackle and cataclysmic filtered pad swells. As full-bodied as ambient ever gets with the emotional range and swooning light-headed joy of modern classical chucked in for good measure. Predictably, a triumph.

      TRACK LISTING

      01. A1. Narkopop 1
      02. A2. Narkopop 2
      03. B1. Narkopop 3
      04. B2. Narkopop 4
      05. B3. Narkopop 5
      06. C1. Narkopop 6
      07. C2. Narkopop 7
      08. D1. Narkopop 8
      09. D2. Narkopop 9
      10. E. Narkopop 10

      F. Narkopop 11 (vinyl Only) 

      The Field

      From Here We Go Sublime (RSD14 Vinyl Edition)

        THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2014 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

        - THE FIELD's legendary debut album FROM HERE WE GO SUBLIME finally finds its way onto vinyl

        - Special edition for RECORD STORE DAY 2014, only available in participating stores

        - Pressed on 180g audiophile grade vinyl, including a CD version of the album

        -Originally rolled out in 2007, this much-acclaimed full-length debut of what was to
        become one of the most celebrated projects in Kompakt's artist fold saw a regular CD edition and an accompanying 12" sampler - but never a full vinyl release.

        -Enter RECORD STORE DAY 2014 and the perfect opportunity to finally present this stunning masterpiece the way it deserves.

        Axel Willner aka THE FIELD joined the Kompakt family in 2005, bringing forward a new fusion of ambient and techno that fed on his adoration for Wolfgang Voigt's classic 90's projects Gas and M:I:5 as well as the shoegazer rock of Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine.

        Called a "techno pop landmark" by Pitchfork, FROM HERE WE GO SUBLIME almost immediately became a cult favourite, starting a trend that continues to this day - as can be seen with THE FIELD's most recent full-length offering CUPID'S HEAD that has been lauded by critics and crowds alike.

        The most striking feat of FROM HERE WE GO SUBLIME must be its sonic cohesiveness, debuting a fully-formed artistic vision that - seven years and three albums later - hasn't lost any of its luster. As a fixture in THE FIELD's discography, it remains as important as ever, with Axel Willner installing a blueprint that inspired many but sounds like no one else... except himself. Giving you a feeling of warmth and familiarity on first listen that you can't quite grasp, it's like this sound has always existed, when in fact it was the unique creation from one highly gifted producer. And it
        all starts here.


        Voigt & Voigt

        Die Zauberhafte Welt Der Anderen

        It's when VOIGT & VOIGT gather in the same studio that the sparks start to fly dangerously low within this unique machinery humbly named Kompakt, resulting more often than not in a rather unlikely combination of separate elements suddenly kickstarting into communication. For their debut full-length DIE ZAUBERHAFTE WELT DER ANDEREN, the Voigt brothers draw from a plethora of influences to build an incomparable sound world, for the first time fully realizing what previous, now classic tracks on SPEICHER have been hinting at. Produced side by side with the essential Techno of ERDINGERTRAX, this album opts for a strong psychedelic narrative, brilliantly showcasing Voigt & Voigt’s experimental inclinations while knowing a thing or two about the perfect groove.

        Marrying the more cerebral aspects of Techno science with the sheer will to party, the Voigtian output is an unpredictable, but constant fixture in KOMPAKT's back catalogue that brings together the distinctive talents of brothers WOLFGANG and REINHARD VOIGT. With each one being a highly prolific artist in its own right, the joint work on their album debut never ceased to surprise even its originators, who used the twilight of their nightly studio sessions to process a shared stream of auditive consciousness feeding on influences as diverse as Techno and New German cinema.

        Full of nods to specific movie and TV esthetics, Voigt & Voigt’s DIE ZAUBERHAFTE WELT DER ANDEREN references the higher and lower brows of auteur film culture already in its name, where widely known French alternative comedy DIE ZAUBERHAFTE WELT DER AMELIE and Oscar-winning German drama DIE WELT DER ANDEREN find themselves forming a truly odd couple. It’s an unusual combination, but it works, as first track INTRO KÖNIG confidently proves, indulging in some sort of abstract theme motive until a poker-faced beat creeps in, priming the sound canvas for things to come. DER ERSTE ZUG takes on the challenge and establishes a monochrome rhythm pattern springing to live when chatting percussion introduces it to the thrust of Hitchcockian railroad travel.

        In the meantime, DER KEIL NRW delves deep into Fassbinder territory and fuses the matter-of-fact news style of Germany’s late Seventies TV with a throbbing rhythm straight out of Thrillerville, making this a perfect candidate for car chasing scenes in Cold-War-era Berlin. TJA MAMA, SANDRA MAISCHBERGER (citing a popular German talk show) and SOZIAL consecutively calm things down for a little mid-movie catharsis, but the tension rises back up soon enough with whodunit-styled spine-chiller DIE GLOCKE (ENDSTATION WIENER PLATZ) and retro-romantic audio drama HOTEL NOKI, followed by the hauntingly detached mantra of AKIRA.

        Multi-angled police procedural TRYPTICHON NUMMER 7 sees Voigt & Voigt dissecting their own trademark sounds as the end credits slowly start to roll, leading to an excitingly minimalist Synth Pop work-out eventually washed away by final orchester hits full of foreboding. It’s as if the album wants to show you one final, very important picture, and indeed it does with DER LETZTE ZUG, a short ride to the other side of reality, clocking in at just over two minutes, but carrying all the weight of an epic cliffhanger. To be continued, hopefully.


        TRACK LISTING

        01. Intro König
        02. Der Erste Zug
        03. Der Keil NRW
        04. Tja Mama, Sandra Maischberger
        05. Sozial
        06. Die Glocke (Endstation Wiener Platz)
        07. Hotel Noki
        08. Akira
        09. Triptychon Nummer 7
        10. Der Letzte Zug

        "Ada - Mixtape #1 - Adaptions" brings together a collection of new and unreleased music, Ada's remixes, renditions of her tracks touched by friends, plus even a lost, alternative take of her most loved song "Blindhouse". Lovingly blended together but not to be confused with a DJ mix, the songs here have a degree of separation between each other (I think we might call them 'gaps'). Diving in, Tracey Thorn's vocals brood over Ada's delicate beats, propelling us into what promises to be a world of modern Booka Shade remix, to the house-drenched cycle of "Forty Winks" to her musical duet with Raz Ohara of Apparat fame,Adaptions" showcases a speculative depth rarely heard in Ada's music and provokes a more matured aspect to her own production. Bringing a slight twist to the typical remix collection, Ada invites some of her favorite remixes onboard for the ride. Studio-mate Dee Pulse hits back with his unreleased remix of "Fizzman" and Tobias Thomas and Michael Mayer team up to tackle the unforgettable Yeah Yeah Yeah's cover of Maps that originally appeared on Ada's debut album "Blondie". It's safe to say that ADA has brilliantly succeeded in creating her own, personal mixtape that is well deserving of being shared with everyone.

        Tracklisting
        1. Tracey Thorn's Grand Canyon (Ada remix)
        2. Ada - Fizzmann (Dee Pulse Remix)
        3. Booka Shade Vertigo vs. Cha (Ada Remix)
        4. Brant Feat. Mr. Roper - Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me (Ada Remix)
        5. Ada - Maps (Thomas / Mayer Remix)
        6. Alex Smoke - Never Want To See You Again (Ada Remix)
        7. Ada - Eve (DJ Koze Mix)
        8. Ada Feat. Raz Ohara - Lovestoned
        9. Andi Teichmann - Tape (Ada Remix)
        10. Ada - Living It Up
        11. Ada - Forty Winks
        12. Ada Feat. Cosmic DJ - Our Blindhouse

        The Field, aka Kompakt label boss Axel Willner, follows up his 2007 offering "Here We Go Sublime" with another killer long player of shoegazer-meets-techno. On "Yesterday & Today" Willner expands his palette, continuing the oblique sampling strategy of "From Here We Go Sublime" while building up the rhythmic architecture. He's joined by a band's worth of live musicians, including ex-Helmet and current Battles man John Stanier on drums, Dan Enqvist (guitar), Johan Grimlund (bass) and Ola Keijer (electric piano), who all work together to create the immense sound offered here. The result is a sublime mix of techno, building sonic layers and the kind of ambience previously used by Krautrock outfits like Tangerine Dream - lush blissed out and electrophoric.


        Latest Pre-Sales

        173 NEW ITEMS

        Sunday Classics. OPEN until 5pm today. https://t.co/kH0YLtqX8p https://t.co/daz6YW2yhg
        Sun 5th - 12:23
        NILE MARR OUTSTORE TONIGHT 🚨 The new album from @NileMarr is out today and to celebrate we’re hosting a launch par… https://t.co/KmHyZZnt4y
        Fri 3rd - 12:34
        Ace to have Arthur in yesterday 🐶 8 and a half months old! https://t.co/kH0YLtqX8p #dogfriendly #cockapoo https://t.co/PeS7ATtWGe
        Fri 3rd - 9:47
        E-newsletter —
        Sign up
        Back to top