Michael Mayer – Higher (Kompakt)
When one of your favourite producers Micheal Mayer releases on one of your favourite labels Kompakt, you have a fair inkling it’s going to be special. What I love about Michael Mayer is you have to expect the unexpected on every release, and whilst you might expect quirky, techno oriented beats with a sprinkling of influences from the ‘heyday of house’ era, you never quite know.
Throw into the mix the fact that Micheal has not released an original track on his own Kompakt for 8 years and you can imagine that pent up quirkiness flooding like tsunami of techno-Moroder right into your auditory cortex.
The first track ‘Higher’ you could almost mistake for Ejeca, with its distinctive vocal snippets and gated samples, alas the instrumentation is too classic techno feel for that. Classic in the vibe, the feeling, the influence and especially the groove. Because, there it is, the Mayerness, the swing that really shouldn’t work but instead gives it life. There are neat pads, filtered breaks, nifty melodies and fat bass. I literally can’t stop playing this track in all its left-of-field glory. Sasha has also been turned onto ‘Higher’ featuring it in his Beatport ReConnect livestream.
‘Doot Doot’ is a bass heavy, techno-electro track with another catchy melody and an ear-worm vocal sample. The groove is so bottom heavy and the elements so simple, it’s like Kraftwerk met Ken Kesey and went on a road trip. Another ripper of a record.
‘Take a Stand For Love’ turns up the real techno dial and relentlessly taunts you with bass, and haunting gated synths. It’s a heavyweight techno jam for the floors that aren’t scared to take it down to the bones.
The last track ‘Belle De Lun’e treats us to the classic Mayer sound, it rounds off the package nicely giving us variation with a thread of quality.
For me it’s the first two tracks that shine through, sounding quite like nothing else out there and tapping into the Mayer genius that, when turned on, shines bright like a techno-North star.
A brilliant EP. Miss this, you guessed it, at your peril.