Various Artists - Immer 2, Mixed by Michael Mayer
Tue 12th Dec, 2006 Music Reviewsin
Driving along the freeway on a cloudy, wet day, Immer 2 makes for the perfect accompaniment. Many dance music CDs are too much an encouragement to speed, better suited to accompanying segments on a show like Top Gear where speed limits do not apply. Immer 2, however, has a more restrained tempo and atmosphere, and combined with an introspective tone, makes for a great soundtrack for the ceaseless kilometres stretching out before you.
Immer 2 is the latest mix CD from Michael Mayer. Before I write anything else, I must confess that he’s a DJ and producer that I’ve heard much of, but little by. Although I keep hearing many good things about him (in particular a certain set he played at Club 77 in Sydney early 2005), I still haven’t ever gotten around to checking him out, well, until now that is. So, whilst I can’t compare this album to his former work, such as the acclaimed mix albums Immer and Fabric 13, I will acknowledge that I will definitely be going back to check those out.
Mayer’s sound has generally been described as minimal house and techno, his name referenced as a standout contributor to the genre. Listing to Immer 2, the aspect that most stands out for me is how Mayer manages to bring so much character to the genre. Minimalist has often been a sound defined as dull, but Immer 2 could never be described as that.
The tempo and style of the tracks included in the mix are very consistent (hence contributing to the album’s suitability to accompany freeway driving), but it doesn’t leave you bored. Rather the tracks selected each bring something to the mix, which is not surprising considering Mayer took a year to compile the tracklisting of the CD, selecting from many tracks that form an integral part of his DJ sets.
There’s the pronounced crackling of mix opener Ploosh from Someone Else and the dark acid house touches of SCSI-9 on Morskaya. Lindstrøm’s Another Station (Todd Terge Remix) and DK7’s Where’s the Fun (Sten Remix) are both distinctive, the former for its Nordic symphs as also found on Lindstrøm’s Contemporary Fix, whilst the latter is the sole vocal track of the mix. The epic SuperMayer remix of Geiger’s Good Evening, which sees Mayer join up with Superpitcher, brings the album to a close, ending with the steady patter of rain that merges the music with the conditions outside of my car.
Whether you’re a fan of minimalist music or new to the genre, I thoroughly recommend Immer 2.