Michael Mayer: Immer 2

What separates Mayer's Immer releases (the first appeared in 2002) from other Kompakt outings like his Speicher mixes and solo album Touch? A couple of things: as ‘Immer' means ‘always,' Mayer selects tracks for Immer that have become integral parts of his DJ sets, specifically tracks he believes hold up under repeated play; and the material reaches beyond Kompakt to other labels, like Microcosm, Output, Astrolab, and Archipel in this case. Compiled over a year, Mayer's choices—Cologne techno, naturally, but also blissed-out disco and dub—emerge from foundsound haze and move through episodes of driving techno, disco-funk, and ambient before Supermayer's (Mayer and Superpitcher) chilled treatment of Geiger's “Good Evening” caps it off.

Someone Else's crackle-soaked “Ploosh” initiates the set, its tick-tock chords and oompah beat closer to a polka hoedown than techno, but gradually the feel shifts and the piece assumes a forceful techno character. Immer 2 heats up with Ian Simmonds' “The Dog.” Driven by ringing cymbal patterns and scuttling string plucks, the song weds a soaring pulse with a spacey ambiance shadowed by keening train whistles that recall “Trans-Europe Express.” Kompakt material comprises a hefty portion of the set: The Rice Twins conjure a weekend beach visit with their quietly jubilant “For Dan,” SCSI 9 dramatically merges dark strings, vibrant synth clusters, and tribal rhythms in the throbbing “Morskaya,” and dueling funk bass accents power disco-dub atmospheres in Justus Köhncke's “Advance.” A similar vibe continues as synth washes swirl around Todd Terje's trippy overhaul of Lindstrom's “Another Platform” but the album's peak moment belongs to rising star Jesse Somfay who drops the disc's most gorgeous melody into his surging “Lying in a Bed of Mist.”

November 2006