- The concept is fairly simple, yet still quite underused: compile a best-of album that encompasses most of your most memorable singles and remixes with a bunch of exclusive cuts thrown in for good measure, and then mix the entire thing yourself into one temporal trip. This is what Clemens Kahlcke (Clé) and Michael Pagliosa (Mike Vamp), AKA Märtini Brös, just did on The MB Factor, though, in celebration of their decade-long career as producers, DJs, remixers and Poker Flat's very own ambassadors of polished tech-house with a poppy twist.
In retrospect, Märtini Brös's back catalogue can be, at times, fascinatingly polarizing: they opened their first album with an intransigent 11-minute long minimal plea about gender confusion ("Boy/Girl"), then they feel right at home releasing catchy electro-pop singles such as "The Biggest Fan" and "Big & Dirty" (although the exclusion of these two cuts from The MB Factor probably does tell us something about how they'd like to be remembered in the long run). Tracks like "Love the Machine," on the other hand, show they can deliver moments where they perfectly balance these two oppositional tendencies. (It's included here both in its original format and its Robag Whrume click-y rendition, and remains one of the duo's most carefully crafted songs to date.)
Thankfully, it's not a rare feat for the duo. "Darkroom" (the sole production from their 2005-06 Tracks from the Lab series to appear on the mix) is restrained yet shamelessly celebratory, both in terms of lyrics (playfully ironic) and production (actually succeeding at making you feel like you're stuck in a maze trying to escape a hungry Pac-Man). "Funk U Up!", a Tiga-sponsored B-side from the 2000 Tanzen EP, sits comfortably next to new electrified productions such as "Drone" and "Presets of My Mind" (with singer Roxzintra Thompson) and smoother and deeper ones such as album closers "Strahlau" and "Der Weg (Restored)."
The MB Factor is a success for that very reason: By picking their own key tracks and favorite remixes, and by articulating them into a 70-minute time capsule, Clé and Vamp's journey through their career ends up actually defying time itself, considering how consistent everything on here feels. The MB Factor is the sound of one of Germany's most enduring producing teams knowing exactly where it's coming from, where it's at right now and where it's going next.
01. Martini Bros - Chasing Ghosts feat. Tigerlily
02. Martini Bros - Electric Monk
03. Martini Bros - Darkroom (Edit)
04. Martini Bros - Dance Like It Is O.K. (DJ Koze & The Tease Remix)
05. Martini Bros - High (Risin')
06. Martini Bros - Hot (Detroit Grand Pubahs Dr. Bootygrabber's Ass Out Remix)
07. Martini Bros - Love the Machine
08. Martini Bros - Love the Machine (Robag Wruhmes Robakkbroswodkainferno Remix)
09. Martini Bros - Morphine Robot
10. Martini Bros - (She's) Heavy Metal (Prins Thomas Remix)
11. Martini Bros - Funk U Up!
12. Martini Bros & Jacktronix - Hips Not Tired (Martini Bros Edit)
13. Martini Bros - Drone
14. Karaoke Bros - Who Want's Again
15. Karaoke Bros - Who Want's Again (Martini Bros Remix)
16. Martini Bros - Presets of My Mind feat. Roxintra Thompson
17. Martini Bros - Tanzen 2008
18. Martini Bros - Strahlau
19. Martini Bros - Der Weg (Restored)