No doubt the artwork is a failure. Don’t think the robust a** on the sleeve belongs to the mag’s cover boy Nicolas Jaar who in the song “Keep Me There” hums along on electronics. One track is not enough to assess if it’s a ingenious work or not. Also in melancholic mood is Rajko Müller AKA Isolée (“Palermo Triste”) and Caribou‘s electronic pop song, remixed by DJ Koze, is neat but very unsurprising.
The first three signify a lethargic start, but Agoria puts the things rolling with synthy “Panta Rei”, which still lies light years behind Unit Moebius’ classic “Panta Rhei”. Salem comes from the witch house faction and does gothic-wave-synth-pop.
Cologne scene would be unthinkable without Kompakt and Wolfgang Voigt (Mike Ink) but his jingling minimal composition is quite suitably named “Apathie”. Ann Aimee’s Delta Funktionen is represented with a less passionate take from “Setup Two: Fusion” and Steffi is under the influence of Mr Fingers and Chicago.
Then two guys still too young to retire, Patrick Pulsinger and Abe Duque, shatter the floor with an old school mover (“Blame It!”). “Mosaik” by Siriusmo plays with complicated beats but Space Dimension Controller (“Temporary Thrillz”) does not sound like “new” music and I even don’t get temporary thrills for it.
The best three for the end. Berlin-based dubstep hero Shackleton and his congas open a new chapter in “International Fires”, which with chorus voices and tickling percussion would fire up any crowd. Demdike Stare‘s “anti-wellness sonic bath” (quote: Groove mag) is a sure bet (“A Tale Of Sand”). The last one is a great surprise when German dark poetry is put on krautrock-electronics by Der Räuber Und Der Prinz (“Moogwalzer”) – a tip for the future, wirklich grossartig.
Groove covers different genres of the electronic music but CDs seem to reflect, with a few exceptions, the mag’s taste for outdated minimal and poppy sounds. Still it’s a good bonus and always worth listening.