As a record store, Kompakt has been linking the past, present and future of Cologne’s house and techno sound for over fifteen years. Originally initiated by Wolfgang Voigt, Jürgen Paape, Reinhard Voigt and Michael Mayer, the shop quickly gained a reputation as a cultural hub, much like other record shops that have become the basis of so much more (Rough Trade, Wax Trax), and in turn grew to harbor not only a round of like-minded DJ’s and producers, but also the Kompakt record labels and club nights. These days, the network also houses a distribution centre, booking agency, publishing house, artist and label management centre. As a label itself, Kompakt has gone from strength to strength and thanks to it’s ever evolving roster continues to develop musically in different directions. The cornerstones of Kompakt’s rise has as much to do with the busy hands of its producers as it does with a collective of deft ears that can slice through to the most compelling details of a long history of club music, strip them, redress them, and throw them back at an audience as something deceptively new. What makes it work is the label’s obsession with pop sensibility – sensibility, not the music itself – and the uncanny ability to grow together as a group, proving yet again that all that rises must converge.Over the course of its history, Kompakt has operated under a variety of different sublabel guises: Kompakt Extra, Kompakt Pop and K2.
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