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Electronic - Released November 3, 2003 | Fabric Worldwide

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Electronic - Released May 19, 2017 | !K7 Records

Following a collaboration-heavy full-length for !K7 titled &, Michael Mayer returned to the label with an installment of the ever-popular DJ-Kicks series. Most of Mayer's commercially released mix CDs have appeared on Kompakt, the Cologne-based techno institution he helps run, and are typically heavy on material released by the label, but the only Kompakt-issued track featured in the mix is Justus Köhncke's 2007 cover of Michael Rother's "Feuerland." As with most of Mayer's mixes other than the Speicher CD series, he's not aiming to show off the latest wares of his label or a treasure trove of rare or unreleased productions by himself or his colleagues. He's going for emotional impact, and the tracks' sequencing is of greater importance than anything else. A spacious, tabla-driven piece by trombonist (and Arthur Russell associate) Peter Zummo begins the mix, and seamlessly floats into Mayer's own "The Horn Conspiracy," the only new, exclusive track on the program. The first third or so of the mix consists of slightly dazed astral disco, sometimes with spoken words (in English and Russian), and sometimes with flutes or strummed guitars. Starting with Mayer's remix of "Honey" by Brazilian band CSS, the songs are significantly more sentimental, particularly Kasper Bjørke's devastating breakup anthem "Apart" (also remixed by Mayer) and Röyksopp's mix of Mekon and Marc Almond's "Please Stay." Even instrumental tracks such as Alter Ego's new wave electro stormer "Gary" are just as dramatic as the ones with lyrics. Later on, Mayer resurrects Basement Jaxx's Simon Ratcliffe's surprisingly great remix of Throbbing Gristle's classic "Hot on the Heels of Love," and follows it up with a Chris & Cosey remix of Death in Vegas that could've fit on one of the ex-TG duo's albums from the '80s. As with most DJ-Kicks volumes, this one seems geared toward home listening rather than attempting to replicate a club set, but other than a shimmering interlude by Idioma near the end of the mix, Mayer keeps the beats steady most of the time. His mixing style, as ever, is minimal and unobtrusive, letting the records speak for themselves. Minimal, however, is not at all an accurate descriptor for the actual tracks contained within this powerful, stirring mix. © Paul Simpson /TiVo
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Electronic - Released October 28, 2016 | !K7 Records

Michael Mayer, one of the individuals behind Cologne, Germany's esteemed techno label Kompakt, moved to Berlin-based !K7 (another German electronic music empire) for the release of his 2016 full-length, &. The album's dozen tracks are all collaborations with fellow techno producers as well as a few dance-friendly vocalists from the indie world. Mayer had never formally collaborated with most of these artists before (Superpitcher, whom Mayer teamed up with as SuperMayer in 2007, is nowhere to be seen on the track list), and they're all close friends of his -- this isn't a money-grabbing list of names plucked straight from a trendy blog. As Mayer explains in the liner notes and press materials, a large number of the tracks turned out far different than expected. He originally intended his collaboration with Miss Kittin to be a joyful, carefree throwback to '80s Miami freestyle, but it was written directly after terrorist attacks occurred in Brussels, so it ended up tense, sinister, and aggravated. The album does contain its share of retro-glancing party tracks, and they're loaded at the front. "We Like to Party" (with Roman Flügel) adds disco handclaps and a scratched-up Slick Rick sample to a typically tight, kinetic tech-house beat. This is followed by a track with three of the other Kompakt bigwigs, Jörg Burger and Wolfgang and Reinhard Voigt, and it turns out to be a funky, playful disco-house jam with squishy synths and echo-drenched flutes. Later on, "La Compostela" takes the prepared pianos of Hauschka (Düsseldorf-based composer Volker Bertelmann) and manages to fashion them creatively into an early-'90s breakbeat house monster with '80s orchestra stabs. "Comfort Me" (with Norwegian nu-disco producer Prins Thomas and Dutch baroque guitarist/vocalist Irene Kalisvaart) is more of a sad, shimmering Italo-disco tune, and the concluding "Cicadelia" (with Andrew Thomas) is lush ambient techno with spacious pianos and flutes. As with other Mayer studio full-lengths (including the SuperMayer release), & has an anything-goes spirit, jumping from style to style and resisting expectations. It flows well as an album, though, starting out celebratory before getting darker and more sinister and finally ending up sublime and relaxed. © Paul Simpson /TiVo
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Techno - Released November 8, 2004 | KOM CD

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Electronic - Released May 19, 2017 | !K7 Records

Electronic - Released June 15, 2015 | Kompakt

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Electronic - Released May 8, 2017 | !K7 Records