Blog Archives

Michael Mayer – The Horn Conspiracy

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Following last year’s full-length LP, ‘&’, Michael Mayer is set to contribute to the legendary DJ Kicks series. Spanning sixteen tracks, the mix finds Mayer is just as generous of a mood, composing a musical journey that spans his ever-expanding record collection, and above all, his defining instinct to share the beauty of music with others.

Now he has shared ‘The Horn Conspiracy’, a brand new track made especially for DJ-Kicks, with Red Bull Radio.
He combines tribal percussions with eerie melodies creating a perfect mood to build upon and proving once again balance is key.

Pre-Order here and find all Michael’s DJ Kicks tour dates here.

Michael Mayer: DJ-Kicks

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Following last year’s full-length LP, ‘&’, which saw him extensively collaborate with an impressive host of contemporaries and friends, including Joe Goddard, Prins Thomas and Agoria, Michael Mayer is set to contribute to the legendary DJ Kicks series. Spanning sixteen tracks, the mix finds Mayer is just as generous of a mood, composing a musical journey that spans his ever-expanding record collection, and above all, his defining instinct to share the beauty of music with others.

“On an abstract level, the approach was basically the same for both projects”, observes Mayer. “For & I put together a group of people that are close to my heart. For Kicks it was a group of records that are like friends to me. All of the tracks I used went through heaven and hell with me. They’ve become true companions. Circling in on and bringing together these friends was the only criterion for the making of this mix. I wanted it to be as personal as possible.”

Perhaps unnervingly to some, fifteen years have passed since the debut edition to Mayer’s breathtaking, scene defining mix trilogy, Immer. Not that it’s legacy – Resident Advisor’s #1 Mix of the 00s, one of Rolling Stone’s 30 Greatest EDM Albums Of All Time – has disturbed Mayer’s formidable workload. A catalogue of no less than 23 EPs, 4 albums and 170 remixes informs a near constant level of international touring. Exhausting as this can be, even after all these years, it’s a ritual that informs the delicate construction of Mayer’s contribution to the DJ Kicks series.

“Kicks has turned out to be a pretty international affair, especially if you compare it with Immer 1 or Fabric 13, which consisted almost 100% of German productions”, highlights Mayer. “At that time, there were such incredible things happening in my direct neighborhood and all over Germany. In the meantime, that spark has traveled a lot since then. The sound I’ve been pushing is often falsely described as “minimal”. Minimal used to be a thing in the pre-Kompakt days, mid 90s. After that I took much more interest in an eclectic way of playing music.”

Alongside this consistent, all-embracing attitude to music, ‘Emotive’ is still perhaps the term best associated with Mayer’s leanings as a DJ, and as the man himself once observed, “there is room on the dancefloor for emotions other than euphoria.” Certainly, DJ Kicks delivers on this expectation, balancing wistful passages with frequent bursts of high energy aimed squarely at the dancefloor.

Mayer’s own reliable talent and golden touch for remixing the likes of Kasper Bjørke, Dreems and CSS provides much of the mix’s atmospheric backbone, supported by dispatches from the contemporary underground from the likes of Jon Hopkins, SAVE! and Boreal. Resolutely a forward thinking affair, the Cologne master nonetheless takes a trip to revisit his timeless love of Throbbing Gristle, slides back over a decade for the electro euphoria of Mekon and Royksopp, as well as his good friend Roman Flugel’s Alter Ego persona.

“I’m constantly scanning my record collection for older tracks that could make new sense in a contemporary context”, reveals Mayer. “There’s no system behind it. My record collection is too chaotic for a systematic approach. As much as it annoys me having to search for a particular record and often not finding it – during the search I’d always find 10 other records that deserve to be revisited.”

Pre-order here and find all Michael’s DJ Kicks tour dates here.

19 May 2017 / !K7

01. Peter Zummo – The Tape Is Chill
02. Michael Mayer – The Horn Conspiracy (DJ-Kicks)
03. Bvoice,Anrilov, Danilov – Papas Groove (dOP & Masomenos Remix)
04. SAVE! – The Darkness (I:Cube Remix)
05. Justus Köhncke – Feuerland
06. CSS – Honey (Michael Mayer Remix)
07. Alter Ego – Gary
08. Kasper Bjørke – Apart feat. Sísý Ey (Michael Mayer Remix)
09. Lionheart Brothers – The Drift (Prins Thomas Diskomiks)
10. Mekon feat. Marc Almond – Please Stay (Röyksopp Remix)
11. Dreems – Mirages (Michael Mayer Remix)
12. Boreal – Canopy Target
13. Throbbing Gristle – Hot On The Heels Of Love (Ratcliffe Remix)
14. Death In Vegas – Consequences Of Love (Chris & Cosey Remix)
15. Idioma – Landscapes
16. Jon Hopkins – Abandon Window (Moderat Remix)

Michael Mayer, Joe Goddard – For You (DJ Koze Remixes)

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DJ Koze comes up to task for the next re-construction of Michael Mayer & Joe Goddard’s ‘For You’, following up from the re-interpretation by Diynamic’s Solomun and Pachanga Boys.

The maverick of flawless productions develops two narratives for this remix package: The first is a club mix composed of layered, floor-raising chords while ruffling up the original vocals gradually and elegantly. The second is a Mbira remix, filled with African-inspired percussive inklings and sprinkled with effortless melodic flourishes. With two accompanying instrumental versions, DJ Koze takes us to the final curtain, closing the end chapter to Michael Mayer’s acclaimed ‘&’ project.

24 February 2017 / !K7
1. For You (DJ Koze Club Mix)
2. For You (DJ Koze Club Instrumental)
3. For You (DJ Koze Mbira Mix)
4. For You (DJ Koze Mbira Instrumental Mix)

No. 03: Michael Mayer – &

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‘&’ is the rare manifest of an established artist who is willing to risk it all and challenge himself, and the world around him. 12 tracks, 12 single narratives coming from a group of very individual minds orchestrated by Michael Mayer – the DJ, artist,A&R but most importantly, obsessed music lover. Michael describes the process of curating and creating ‘&’ as a constant battle between his three alter egos but “the obsessed music lover has had the final say.”

Jagwar Ma – Give Me A Reason (Michael Mayer Does The Amoeba Remix)

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Here’s a new remix by Michael Mayer of Jagwar Ma called ‘Michael Mayer Does the Amoeba Remix’ (named after the recurring line in the track). It’s a seven minute remix of euphoric and slowly rising minimal techno.

Michael Mayer recently released his third studio album & on !K7 (featuring collaborations with Miss Kittin, Joe Goddard, Gui Boratto and others).

The remix follows Jagwar Ma’s second album Every Now & Then released in October and recent headline tours of the UK & USA. The trio have also announced a string of live dates for 2017, including a show at Berlin’s Berghain Kantine and their largest UK headline show at the Kentish Town Forum on the 15th March (full dates below)

Full tour dates below:

04/03 Outlines Festival, Sheffied
07/03 Trabendo, Paris
08/03 Orangerie, Brussels
10/03 Berghain Kantine, Berlin
11/03 Melkweg Old Hall, Amsterdam
14/03 The Old Market, Brighton
15/03 02 Forum Kentish Town, London
17/03 Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
18/03 The Ritz, Manchester
19/03 Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh

Michael Mayer – & LP

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Michael Mayer is one of the leading German tastemakers in dance music and his DJ sets have influenced a generation (or two) of musicians and fans.As an artist, Mayer remains tirelessly motivated to DJing, in the studio or behind his desk at KOMPAKT, the label he co-owns. His recording career spans four albums, 23 EP’s, nearly 170 remixes and the legendary DJ mixes for fabric and Immer.‘&’ is his third full-length,a passionate and personal album that speaks as broadly as his DJ sets – embracing his genre-busting love for music, rhythm and atmosphere – and the dancefloor in front of him.

‘&’ – the title says it all; Michael Mayer collaborated for every track on the album. “All of those involved are good friends of mine and not random choices selected from someTop 100 list.These people mean a lot to me – and by that the music we produced together is heart driven and emotionally powered. I felt we had a mutual privilege to share time together in the studio creating what you hear”.

‘&’ follows a long phase of solitary studio work, but Michael is returning to a pattern of collaboration that’s been significant throughout his career. From his early band Forever Sweet (with Reinhard Voigt and Tobias Thomas), Zimt (with Matias Aguayo) or most recently Supermayer (with Superpitcher).This new wave of partnerships can be traced to the series of back-to-back DJ sets he played throughout 2015. “In the past, I would always take the safe route and DJ with those I would also want go to bed with”, he says with a grin. “Then I found myself opening up. I got this desire to share the decks with DJs who may not share the same records in their crates but who shared a sense of adventure and challenge in playing together”.The most inspiring moment that comes to mind were his sets with Seth Troxler. “We challenged ourselves without borders, a purpose that lead to what ‘&’ is all about”.

Opening track ‘We Like To Party’ finds Michael (finally) producing with old friend Roman Flügel – a tribute to an era of music that shaped them both. A high noon bloomer inspired from the late 80’s / early 90’s. It comes with a wink…and scratch.‘Disco Dancers’ is produced with his KOMPAKT brothers in arms Jörg Burger,Wolfgang and ReinhardVoigt. Old friends holding hands for a colourful dance so deep you feel the heat of the night in their heart, and it delivers the most insane breakdown you’re likely to hear this year. Brazil’s leading techno force, Gui Boratto brings a dramatic change of atmosphere on ‘State of the Nation’ – the lights go on as Michael and Gui bridge a blusterous paradigm to the dancefloor.

‘Mind Games’ is the first song with vocals, by Friendly Fires Ed Macfarlane, that are a declaration of sadness and search for acceptance in a relationship’s demise.The collaboration with Kölsch ‘Gemination’ brings a hypothermic drop to the senses. ‘Voyage Interieur’ with Miss Kittin reflects current world politics.The original idea was to produce a track that breathed the classic ‘80’s sound of Miami freestyle, but the attack on Brussels happened shortly before the session started and in a spontaneous reaction,Miss Kittin’s words found a perfect fit with the bittersweet melancholy of the track.An intense dance on the thin line called life.

‘ForYou’ is a modern ballad for the dance floor and bedroom.A true love story sung by one of the best,Joe Goddard of Hot Chip / The 2 Bears. Over the course of Michael’s career remixing the likes of Rufus Wainwright or Pet Shop Boys, he has been able to bridge song writing and dance music in an extraordinary way and they both unleash the best of their talents and shine as if someone turned on every light in the world for a love that is meant to stay.‘Blackbird Has Spoken’, produced together with talented French producer Agoria, is about taking all the time on the world, filling the room with a pop ambient flavour of modern club music.A track intended to go on forever… ‘La Compostela’ with acclaimed musician Hauschka is an unlikely collaboration that exhibits Michael’s adventurousness. “We both didn’t expect this to happen. I expected an epic trance track or something totally abstract – not this baroque rave whopper”.

“Listen to the silence inside of you, when all is said and done” are the first words you hear on ‘Comfort Me’, the threesome of Michael Mayer, Prins Thomas and vocalist Irene Kalisvaart. It resonates an era of pop music gone by but not forgotten. A sweet temptation as much as a moment of inner truth, the song captures those hours on the dancefloor when one forgets that others are around. An album highlight is ‘Und Da Stehen Fremde Menschen’, built around a vocal sample from a long lost East German band Stern Meissen. “I bought the record because I thought the cover was interesting.Then I heard this one line that fitted perfectly to this idea of mine”. Barnt was the only candidate to make this idea come to life. “The trick was to bridge something that sounds sincere and deep with a delicate balance of craziness”. The outcome breathes a groovy spookiness, likened to the Giallo works of Dario Argento, where the borders between reality and fiction are not clear.

‘&’ comes to a tranquil close with ‘Cicadelia’, a long distance team up between long time Pop Ambient / Kompakt producer Andrew Thomas from New Zealand. ”This is the kind of music that I would like to hear under the most brutal sun with my tongue sticking to the palate. It’s the musical equivalent of an ice cold Cuba Libre.”

‘&’ is the rare manifest of an established artist who is willing to risk it all and challenge himself, and the world around him. 12 tracks, 12 single narratives coming from a group of very individual minds orchestrated by Michael Mayer – the DJ, artist,A&R but most importantly, obsessed music lover. Michael describes the process of curating and creating ‘&’ as a constant battle between his three alter egos but “the obsessed music lover has had the final say.”

As diverse as they are, all the tracks that result from this long and winding road create a cohesive story and present the elasticity of Mayer’s musical galaxy. Michael gladly leaves it to the rest of the scene to discuss the different grey shapes of club culture. For him there is only one club culture – a playful and open-minded one that’s easy to comprehend after you hear ‚&’.

~ Thomas Venker, Cologne, 2016

Out October 28 on !K7

Tracklist:
A1 Michael Mayer & Roman Flügel – We Like To Party
A2 Michael Mayer & Burger / Voigt & Voigt – Disco Dancers
A3 Michael Mayer & Gui Boratto – State Of The Nation
B1 Michael Mayer & Ed Macfarlane – Mind Games
B2 Michael Mayer & Kölsch – Gemination
B3 Michael Mayer & Miss Kittin – Voyage Interieur
C1 Michael Mayer & Joe Goddard – For You
C2 Michael Mayer & Agoria – Blackbird Has Spoken
C3 Michael Mayer & Hauschka – La Compostela
D1 Michael Mayer & Prins Thomas / Irene Kalisvaart – Comfort Me
D2 Michael Mayer & Barnt – Und Da Stehen Fremde Menschen
D3 Michael Mayer & Andrew Thomas – Cicadelia

Michael Mayer, Agoria – Blackbird Has Spoken

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Michael Mayer is one of the leading tastemakers in dance music and his DJ sets have influenced a generation (or two) of musicians and fans. As an artist, Mayer remains tirelessly motivated behind the DJ decks, in the studio or behind his desk at KOMPAKT, the label he co-owns. His recording career spans four albums, 23 EP’s, nearly 170 remixes and the legendary DJ mixes for fabric and Immer. His own productions are always passionate and personal, while speaking as broadly as his DJ sets – embracing his genre-busting love for music, rhythm and atmosphere – and the dancefloor in front of him.

Agoria one of the leading French electronic producers and DJs. Co-founder of InFiné and Les Nuits Sonores Festival. In recent years, alongside his DJing in clubs and high profile events like the Cannes Film Festival, he’s also written scores for film and is working on his 5th studio album.

For those who like to read song titles as a part of a bigger story then “Blackbird Has Spoken” is the perfect reflection to that. Agoria and Mayer team up for a track is about taking all the time on the world. It’s a track with that fills the room with a distinctive pop ambient flavoured twist on modern club music. It’s a track intended to go on forever.

Agoria writes “Michael was one of the first artists I asked to remix one of my songs (“Sky is clear”) when I began making music.We are on the same boat, sharing miles and smiles all over the world since years, I’m so happy we finally managed to sit down together making our first common piece of music: Une eau de Cologne de Paris”.

Thylacine – Train (Michael Mayer Remix)

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At 23, William Rezé has already lived several artistic lives, which now seem to merge into a single project: Thylacine. Born and raised in Angers (France), Rezé is now set to release his first LP, Transsiberian, a concept album that puts the love of travel and curiosity at the heart of its contemplative songs. Released on the 27th May via Intuitive records, Transsiberian presents a distinctly introspective cut of electronica, decorated with Rezé’s imaginative use of sampling through all the chance, humbling encounters on his journey, which in turn creates a mystifying documentation of the how the album was recorded. Rezé explains that: “A journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway would finally provide me with the ideal conditions for writing music: the cramped confinement of my cabin, the travel length (as long as 160 hours), the fact that I could use my electronic equipment, the discovery of another culture and a new type of music, nearly 6,000 miles of landscape as well as the opportunity of meeting new people.” Transsiberian acts as both a literal and figurative journey, guiding the listener through an electronic landscape of perfectly aligned pop and experimental music.

Michael Mayer is a slow-building sonic architect happy to eke out subtle blends for minutes at a time, resulting in a DJing style that’s luxurious and languid. Here he delivers an epic, 8 and a half minute techno rework of the of the original.

Transsiberian is an impressive collection of sceneries and sounds, compelling electronic rhythms and field recordings; forming a melting-pot of cultures and ideas. Much like the work of Paul Kalkenbrenner and Moderat, Thylacine has an impressive ability to weave together pulsating soundscapes – and fused with the sonic findings of his journey, Transsiberian can be heralded as a truly epic experience.

Thylacine plays XOYO with Fakear on Thursday 14th April.

Michael Mayer / Reinhard Voigt – Time Is Running

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Kompakt’s Michael Mayer and Reinhard Voigt join forces for new 12″ “Time Is Running”. Out on June 15 on Kompakt. Pre-order the vinyl now and enjoy the accompanying trailer below.

With “Time Is Running”, Michael Mayer and Reinhard Voigt present new bangers that bear all the hallmarks of club favorites – individually produced cuts that both incorporate the crisp rawness of early Kompakt techno as well as the sophisticated sonics to be found in our current catalogue.” via Kompakt

Audion – Dem Howl feat. Troels Abrahamsen

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Ghostly’s Matthew Dear returns to his Audion moniker with a great new single “Dem Howl” for Cologne’s Kompakt label. The track features vocals from Danish singer/musician Troels Abrahamsen and is backed with an instrumental version as well as a remix from label co-founder Michael Mayer. Out on November 3rd 2014; pre-order your 12” here.