This year, Colone-based label Kompakt celebrated the quarter decade in dance with their deep roster of influential artists spanning the genre. The team admits it’s the global success of pulsing techno that’s been its namesake, but it won’t stop there. Pop Ambient 2019 is a long-running testament to a diverse catalog. Known as a quality-based imprint that serves as a home for talent rather than a guide for artists, these German tastemakers have an ear for sounds the feel just right. As avid fans of everything from the main label and distribution network, Pop Ambient is yet another welcome addition to our home crate.
Once again compiled by Wolfgang Voigt, the nineteenth edition features a strong mix of ‘new and old friends’. Charged with feeding Kompakt’s dedicated fan base while carving out new niche’s in the ever-evolving climate of music, Voigt’s careful approach tells quite the story. In describing the release he tells of a journey to ‘neighboring musical universes’. Reflecting his own audio diversity (like that of alter-ego GAS), the Cologne local hits this one out of the park. Obligatory while being innovative. Pop Ambient fits the mold of the surefire label while surprising every step of the way.
Through its course, KOMPAKT has sent “Around The World”, all kinds of sub-genres, concept series and crossover adventures based on the non- negotiable 4/4 beat. And back again.
Bridging thirteen tracks of kick-drum free bliss, the refined angle of this full length is a refreshing treat for the audiophile. Proving that electronic certainly isn’t just made for the dance floor, Voigt’s A&R is purposefully driven away from heavy hits. Dubbed ‘sacral music for non-believers’, it’s an oxymoron for the label’s sound that acts as a tell-all for taste. Celebrate the absence of the drum it all of its glory. You may not take this record to the club, but its sure sounds pretty on a dialed home system.
Although each and every POP AMBIENT edition doesn’t shy away from diving into the relevant question of “What is contemporary discourse music” – in the end it all boils down to that elevated moment where all theory dissolves into ambient air, into a higher state of cosmic bliss.