- Kompakt's mix CDs are designed to sneak up on you. Even the ones that announce their own particular magic pretty straightaway—Triple R's Friends, Michael Mayer's Immer—are created for the long haul. That can make it hard to discern too quickly just where a new one might fall in that particular pantheon. But after a couple weeks with Robag Wruhme's Wuppdeckmischmampflow, it seems safe enough to say: pretty high.
Actually, what's most striking is how precisely its tone is pitched between the above-named pair of titans. Wruhme's mix begins subtly, then swells; it's got the sunset gurgle that typifies Friends cut with the mysterioso whooshes that sold Immer to the ex-Goths. Well, of course: the gentle clicks and twilit keyboards of Wruhme's remix of Metaboman's "Easy Woman" set Triple R's mix in motion to begin with. But there's an autumnal feel to Wruhme's work here; you sense he's lived with these records for a while, and for all the planning that undoubtedly went into the mix, he could have put things in a different order and done something almost as good. But not quite.
Kompakt mixes exude maturity, by which I don't mean taste so much as patience. (Ewan Pearson's mix last year made that especially clear.) Wuppdeckmischmampflow works in that way, too, but whether producer or DJ, alone or in collaboration (with the Wighnomy Brothers and otherwise), Wruhme's sensibility has always had a ripe-fruit luxuriousness to it. His beats shuffle to chunky percussion, and the percussion glimmers like lights hitting the ride cymbal or the bells just right. Together, they give his music a kind of enchanted body-shower effect. As an ad for the virtues of growing older and staying agile with techno, it's aces.
Two big highlights: first, Chateau Flight's "Cosmic Race," track six on the CD, which isn't the same as track six in the mix. Wuppdeckmischmampflow couples and triples several selections within a single track, so that (for example) Kollektiv Turmstrasse's "Dead Room," Tiefschwarz's "Trust (Audion Remix)" and Ricardo Villalobos's "Dexter" all share space (along with what is referred to on the packaging as "Robag Smapelschatull": the DJ triggering samples from the track[s] live). "Cosmic Race" is full of grin-inducing synth back-talk, both in-jokey and highly propulsive, and it's where the mix takes off—all the decks-stacking that preceded it was effective but not as lean as this. Chateau Flight go straight into Moderat's "Rusty Nails," a powerful vocal track that puts things in a more serious frame without stinting on joy.
The other big highlight is Four Tet's "Angel Echoes," where the mix's glossolalic undertone finally bursts free. And just to underline Kompakt's point about the worth of physical objects, the cover art will surely rank among 2011's best: a fabulous, yellow-tinted gathering-in-the-park photo, half anticipatory, half be-here-now, that matches the disc's contents to a tee. It's comfortable, and it never sits still.
01. Danny Norbury - Speak, Memory
02. Guillaume & the Coutu Dumonts - Odyssee / Trentemoller - Chameleon (Robag Smapelschatull)
03. Ricardo Villalobos - Dexter / Robag Wruhme - Freggelswuff (Robag Smapelschatull)
04. Tiefschwarz feat. Seth Troxler - Trust (Audion Remix) / Ricardo Villalobos - Dexter
05. Kollektiv Turmstrasse - Dead Room / Tiefschwarz feat. Seth Troxler - Trust (Audion RMX) / Ricardo Villalobos - Dexter (Robag Smapelschatull)
06. Chateau Flight - Cosmic Race (Robag Smapelschatull)
07. Moderat - Rusty Nails (Robag Smapelschatull)
08. Claro Intelecto - Hunt You Down / MRI : Acid
09. WhoMadeWho - Keep Me In My Plane (DJ Koze Hudson River Dub) / Claro Intelecto - Hunt You Down (Robag Smapelschatull)
10. Four Tet - Angel Echoes (Robag Smapelschatull)
11. Voom Voom - Best Friend (Henrik Schwarz Mix) (Robag Smapelschatull)
12. Robag Wruhme - Robellada
13. Ian Simmonds - Kon1 (Krause Duo RMX)
14. Zwanie Jonson - Sweater Day / Shelter (Robag Smapelschatull)