Review: If you're a fan of dub techno and densely layered, spaced-out ambient soundscapes, you should already be familiar with Mr Cloudy (real name Sergey Barkalov) and his Space of Variants label. Whether you are or not, we'd recommend checking out this fine label sampler, which was compiled by Barkalov and offers a neat introduction to the imprint's distinctively hazy and hypnotic sound. Highlights include the decidedly intergalactic dub techno shuffle of Flying Cobra's "In Harmony With The Whole", the early morning club hypnotism of "Mira" by Ozim Lee, the fluid ambient dub/dub techno fusion of Heavenchord's "Echo 2", the tough but intoxicating antics of Mr Gradient (the pumping but dubbed-out "Isolated Space") and the bass guitar sporting ambient dub niceness of 'Dub raw Sky" by Tuman Sound.
Review: Total is Kompakt's flagship compilation series, helping define the particular melodious techno sound the Cologne institution has made its own. They're toasting the 20th edition since the series began in 1999 (they skipped a year on 2004), doing what they've always done and celebrating the beautiful and delicate end of the club music spectrum. From swooning sing along disco rollers like Kiwi's "Hello Echo" to the forthright thump of Sascha Funke and Jonathan Kaspar, there's all the range of Kompakt's legacy on display, but delivered as an exciting forward-facing concern rather than trading on past glories. Here's to the next 20 editions.