Compost 100 Double CD, Import
Compilation featuring the best artists and music from the German label Compost. All of the tracks and remixes are exclusively produced for this anniversary compilation celebrating the label's 100th release.
Eight years after its launch and the Munich based future jazz dealership marks its centennial release with a double CD package Compost 100. Compiling the finest moments from such an acclaimed back catalogue was never going to be an easy task, so label manager Michael Reinboth flips the script with 20 exclusives from the label's illuminati. While Zero Db ruffle the feathers of Truby Trio's "Galicia," the first disc sees funk action from Kyoto Jazz Massive and the ultra-chilled keys of Les Gammas and the more up-tempo beats of the Salvador Group. Tune into the second CD for the broken beats of Twice, the clicks and crackles of Stefan Betke's Pole and the Detroitian bleeps of Reinboth's own Beanfield project If this wasn't enough, the Amalgamation of Sounds throw in some crazed orchestration and DJ Force turns in a heavyweight hip-hop instrumental. This is two hours of brand new tracks and remixes from some of the hottest producers in the world. --Kingsley Marshall
of the more music enthusiast-orientated end of the market. Focusing less on the more mainstream end of music, and aimed at those that prefer to dig a 'little deeper' to discover their music. Foolishly, I assumed that this was going to be a compilation of Nu-Jazz/Broken beat/Acid Jazz end of the market, along the lines of something like "Jazzanova" (my fault, seeing as I've had had no prior experience with this label), and although there is a fair smattering of those genres dotted across the 2-CD's, its actually a broad selection of electronic music, that touches upon: Dance, Jazz-house, Downtempo, Drum 'N' Bass, Trip-Hop, Electronica. It's a fairly comprehensive package, and those that are prepared for the stylistic jumps in much will find a great deal here (most of the material is either New or Unreleased cuts), to sink their teeth into.
Truby Trio's "Galicia" (Zero DB Remix), is a beautifully twitchy, sort of electronica fused with a samba rhythm, its like having the central elements of samba music, fed through a sampler, and overlayed with throbbing bass, and keyboard, with a weird start/stop dynamic that works in spite of itself, think dancefloor orientated Brazilian beats and you're half-way there, in imagining this remarkable opening track.
"Kyoto Jazz Massive" manage to impress with all of the few tracks, I've heard from them. Theirs is a unique style of Acid-Jazz / Jazz-house which is almost certainly a highlight here, the use of shimmering keyboards, mixed successfully with a nod to '70s fusion, and intergrated with broken beats , continually impresses, and their track contribution..."Crossbreed", is merely a continuation of their excellence.
From here on in, the genres touched upon begin to move into the various genres / Sub-genres of electronic music, and although moving from relatively upbeat on one song, to gleefully downtempo on the next, this is a truly excellent showcase for the labels diversity within the electronic field. So whether it the sophisticated take on intelligent Drum 'n Bass as provided by "Karl Berger's" Sublime "Discipline 100", which is all intricately programmed Drum Breaks, with luscious & Jazz-referencing instrumentation over the top, that isn't a million miles away from the style of D'n'B that "LTJ Bukem" has
managed to corner the market with, but with more of a nod to the 'Nu-Jazz' movement.
The latter end of the Disk nudges its way towards funky-beaks / Broken Beat, with "Beanfield's - Close the Gap Pt 1-3", being a particularly noteworthy standout, partly for its combination of not only excellent use of frenetic, syncopated beat structures that jitter & stutter, like accessible experimental electronica, but also never forgetting that music in this genre needn't be a difficult listen, and can be as head-noddingly agreeable, as most of the finest electronic music can be.
Heads, into the more experimental side of things, with a stronger emphasis on electronica, Broken Beat & leftfield rhythms. The first track off this disc, is "Minus 8's" sophisticated Jazz-house track "Come Along", which is a superbly created upbeat Latin/Salsa influenced number, Latin in feel and jazzy in composition, with exuberant Mediterranean percussion and sensual vibes, this is the sort of fantastically fused elements of House music & Latin music, that the band "Nuyorican Soul" do so well.
A truly surprising change of pace comes in the form of "Twice's" downtempo broken beat effort "ISM", this has more in cutting edge rhythms, than it does with anything Jazz related. Starting off with with a minimal broken beat & slight echo, that gradually unfolds and opens out into something altogether different, by intergrating simple piano/synth lead harmonies, into a glistening fusion of melody & beats....Think prime-era instrumental 'Stevie Wonder', and you'll be pretty close to imagine, what this sublime effort sounds like.
Pushing the boat out into even more experimental territory is "Fauna Flash's" Jaw-dropping "Ten", this is probably more in debt to ambient-Techno than the stylisation of Jazz. Stark, dense and minimal sounds create a brooding sense of spacious sounds, with very little actually musically going on, but its the use of sound, that makes it so compelling to listen to, this is detached & hypnotic, and not unlike the sort of Ambient-Techno/Electronica that IDM (Intelligent Dance Music) specialist "Autechre" would make, and feels so different from everything else on this compilation, that I actually had to walk over to the CD Player to check to see it was the same CD (and give the track another play).
Possibly in an effort to make sure all bases are suitably covered, things that a turn towards a more Funk/Worldbeat aesthetic, with "Supersempft's" afrobeat "Wewa", which for all intents and purposes, sounds like a lost "Fela Kuti" track. The use of African rhythm sections and percussion is to be saluted, and yet the spacey free jazz-like encounter of sax, lively percussion and African chants are as confidently realised as one could reasonably expect (possibly even surpassing expectations), and surely the man himself (Afro-beat overlord "Fela Kuti"), would surely approve of the remarkably accurate reinterpretation of his sound.
This complation, manages to completely do everything that it sets out to do (provide a broad summary of the labels output), and actually manages to surpass it's agenda, as there's so much amazingly composed & arranged music here, that spans a (very) wide variety of genres, that it would be hard not to listen to this album (for instance "Amalgamation of Soundz" inspired Drum 'n'Bass / 70's Spy thriller soundtrack song "Guilty as Charged"), and not want to find out more about these artists on the label. Obviously having a broad ear for music is going to be beneficial to any listener, as the leaping from genre to genre, will leave those expecting a continual style of music frustrated. On one side note, I have to make a comment about a couple of reviews that mention that there is a fair amount of 'filler tracks' on the album....I have to say that I could only possibly think of one track on the album, that could have reasonably have been considered 'filler', and even then its a nice track, but maybe because (in my eyes) there is such a high proportion of fantastic tracks on here, that anything less than stellar, would have possibly stood out. Regardless of my views on that subject, this is a tremendous effort for the 'Compost' label, and is the most perfect of introductions to the labels remarkable output.
This is a double disc set of some of their tunes in the growth to I believe 100 releases. You have some sweet reworks and original vinyls on here that weren't in CD format.. maybe ever. Kyoto Jazz Massive's Crossbreed features on disc one and that was a tough track to get a hold of - it was on the pricey "Crossbreed" series they released in Japan back in the day. Still, it's a sweet cut. And Les Gammas featuring the vocals of Nina Miranda in "Outra Vida" show how cool and real the music can be with her silky voice and a rustic feel to the real instruments that fall over the electric mix. Funny... if not for the repeat of the vocal I'd rate the original higher than the bossa remix. But the way it starts... like a dream & very very sexy. Also, Supersempft aka "Intuit" feature a neat track on disc two "Wewa" and rounding out the second cd is the impressive originals A Forest Mighty Black with "Little Princess" which offers an interesting change of pace to the sometimes intense beats.
I recommend this to anyone that's a fan of collecting all of Compost's works. But... if you're a vinyl junkee then there may be nothing new for you here since this is an older release (2001). And I have to agree with Richard Diaz, there really is quite a bit of filler here and that's not cool because of those 100 releases there was plenty of other good tracks to put on here. Ben Mono has better cuts and so does The Amalgamation of Soundz. But it somewhat serves its purpose as a showcase for some of their artists and I can recommend the works by Gammas, KJM, Beanfield, Forest Mighty Black, etc. and the linear notes are done by Gilles Peterson which only shows, again, how small the degree of musical separation is in this genre... Conte, Peterson, Patrick Forge, Rainer Truby, Phil Asher... pretty consistent. And if you want some more compost comps check out "Future Sound of Jazz" which is a criminally underrated series.
The drum brush get-downs of Kyoto Jazz Massive "Crossbreed" and Minus 8 "Come Along" certainly aim on point, while Les Gammas "Outra Vida" delectably melds warm keys, studio polish, and heart. Elsewhere, Beanfield's "Reaction" certainly gets one, and Wei Chi's "Never Let Me Down" doesn't.
Yet there's no denying the amount of filler packed in, and a couple of clunkers (the mish-mash jam of Ben Mono "Moments"). Still, the beguiling smoothness of two hours of Compost music has its effect; a vibe so amenable that we'll forgive them for not going the greatest hits route. 3.5 stars