- Tobias Thomas has always been the underdog of the Kompakt family. His DJ appearances are overshadowed by those of his limelight-stealing comrades Michael Mayer and DJ Koze, his productions are restricted to too-infrequent collaborations, and his mix releases have received less attention than any on the label. This is a shame because 'Please Please Please' – the conclusion of a mix CD trilogy begun with 'Fur Dich' and 'Smallville' – is as classy as anything bearing the Kompakt name, managing to encompass the sleek, timeless microhouse of Mayer's 'Immer' compendiums, Superpitcher's weepy emotionalism and Koze's ecelcticism with a number of lurching detours of Thomas' own.
The mix is very much in line with Kompakt’s mix CD ethos of a 'journey' through obscure-but-hardy personal favourites rather than a trawl through recent club bangers. The first ten minutes are even beatless – you don’t reach the drums until the scene is properly set with the bowed sheet metal of Pantha du Prince's 'Butterfly Girl' and the music-box chimes of Adolf Noise's 'Was Ist Zuviel Zeit (Dub)'. The beats come slow, mind, with Krause Duo's 'Kingpult' leisurely slapping a wet flipper against the side of a boat, like a seal on holiday, while shards of vinyl crackle fill in the gaps. Johannes Heil's 'Aquarius' keeps to the maritime theme with gurgles and drowned sleigh bells, and Vulva String Quartet's 'Wild Wild Berry' ups the ante somewhat but, at mid-tempo, their bottom-heavy lurch positively drags along the pavement. There follows a stream of minimal tracks until, suddenly and surprisingly, we're at an almost-club-friendly skip. Villalobos' 'The Contempt (Trip Toolsmix)' from 1995 (!) offers a kickless rumbling shuffle, Thomas/Burger's 'My Favourite Dress' pays bleepy homage to their football heroes and Reinhard Voigt's 'Suchtkultur' packs a screeching electro wallop, presenting the Thomas you're likely to hear out of doors.
The home stretch takes another turn altogether, with jittery, emotionally wrought vocals crooning 'Please please please' in International Pony's 'Gravity', as weeping walls of synths sigh in the background. Here would be the logical place to end, but Thomas reels out his own Geiger via Stella collaboration, putting drums and muscle to Fleetwood Mac's 'Dreams' for an odd, final tech-pop shimmy. It’s a strange turn, but it’s been a strange ride, with surely the slowest run of minimal tracks to appear together on CD, and shifts and turns linear purists may find unsettling. Nonetheless, Thomas segues these transitions effortlessly, and while certain chapters may find the test of time less kind, on the whole 'Please Please Please' offers a joyous ride through the crates of one of Cologne's more adventurous DJs.
1 Pantha Du Prince - Butterfly Girl (Pantha Lost the Beat Version)
2 Adolf Noise - Was Ist Zuviel Zeit (Dub)
3 Pantha du Prince - Reprise
4 Krause Duo - Kingpult
5 Johannes Heil - Aquarius
6 Vulva String Quartett - Wild Wild Berry
7 Ricardo Villalobos - The Contempt (Trip Tollsmix)
8 The Kooky Scientist - A Little Older, A Little Bolder
9 Thomas/Burger - My Favourite Dress (Theme 2006)
10 Reinhard Voigt - Suchtkultur
11 Pachulke Umd Sohn - Läuft gut
12 Brant feat. Mr. Roper – Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me (Ada mix)
13 International Pony – Gravity
14 Stella – Dreams (Thomas/Geiger mix)