A generally thoughtful 17-track collection, aiming to unlock minds by extolling the virtues of dance floor dehydration inside the Cocoon bubble, is the outline for what are slightly low key celebrations. Far from being an oversized retrospective — okay, some merchandise bonuses are added for the occasion, and Cocoon fans are never far from a new release anyway — it’s an onward and upward declaration from Sven Väth, planning the label’s next hundred-strong discography upon the techno institution receiving its ton-up telegram.
As to whether it should have gone all out on the catalogue classics blueprint, or at least included a mixed format, at the very least there are big names to mark a big deal. But reading beyond the headliners is where the compilation makes more of the anniversary. Out of the concentration searching for both oxygen and daylight, where veins bulge at the temple but composure never deserts, Sante & Frank Lorber methodically get window panes quivering. Timo Maas is in grouchy, bass is my master mood, Pig & Dan operate between both of these giving the neighbours what for, and Minilogue turn a foam party into a smothering, stifling swamp of techno worry as physical pressure is added to your cranium. Dominik Eulberg and Secret Cinema hold instructions to the lighting of a blue touch paper for the birthday cake candles.
Well done to those charged with whittling down the electronic titan’s platinum anniversary down to just two discs — let’s also hope part 1 actually means there will be a part 2. Should your opinion of German labels be a stale cliché — maybe it’s those hard Ks in the name lending themselves to straight-talking effectiveness/ruthlessness — you’ll be thrilled by the automation of Justus Köhncke, Leandro Fresco and Dettinger, though perhaps less enamoured with little flits of the flatter that include Matias Aguayo’s “Walter Neff” not seeming to fit in anywhere.
Those knowing Kompakt’s creativity are offered the sumptuously funky (Aguayo via DJ Koze) as a smooth veil to the mechanised edges and components, found in the everlasting chugs of Voigt & Voigt’s disco-techno “Vision 03” and The Field’s “Over the Ice”. Minimalist techno tradition is held close, done as an all-for-one, inclusive against narrow-minded span. Out of Michael Mayer’s good n itchy deep houser “Lovefood,” comes the crossover-ready “Transient” by Pluxus and its snooping Ford tie-in, and Heiko Voss hankering for a hammock gives the collection quite a head-in-the-clouds headstart.
The excellent disc two gets down to business with techno for the head while leaving your heart heaving. It becomes a battle and balance between light and heavy (of which John Tejada is the most brutal), organic and automated (Rex the Dog getting synths to squirt and stun), and the freedom and focus of The Rice Twins, Jonas Bering, Kaito, Lawrence, GusGus and Gui Boratto.