Michael Mayer is a principle figure of Cologne's music scene, and is the co-founder of the incomparable Kompakt Records. Both his productions and sets are marked by the tirelessly progressive vision that Mayer has shared through Kompakt. Our own Rosenberg plays an extended set early, and our friends from Preview showcase their unique happy hour concept from 6p-12a in #FlashBar.
Rosenberg (Flash | DC)
As a DJ, producer and remixer, Michael Mayer remains one of Germany's core celebrities in dance music. It's no secret that he spends his weekends traveling around the globe. It's likely throughout his career he's played in front of millions. Then, as a co-owner of Kompakt, he spends his weekdays deciding what will be released on the label and working with the label's artists and overseeing Kompakt's distribution wing - the home of over 50 record labels. Amazingly enough, he manages to sneak into the studio on occasion to produce his own music and remix the likes of Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, Foals and Rufus Wainwright. And of course there is Supermayer but more on that later. It's safe to say he loves being challenged and regardless of the pressure is never putting less than 100% of his heart and soul into everything he does.
By 1993, Cologne had become Mayer's second home. A huge reason for this was the record store Delirium. A cocky Mayer was quick to tell the owners Wolfgang and Reinhard Voigt, Jürgen Paape, and Jörg Burger how dismal their record selection was. His egg'ing on ended up earning him a job and a respect from his peers. Within that year he would become a co-owner and buyer for the shop. Over the next 5 years, Michael continued to thrive from his DJing, performing now in different cities - motivated by the birth of minimal techno and the tidal wave of innovative music that was coming out of Cologne at that time. Much of which came from his Delirium partners. He would also start producing his own music. As a reaction to the state of the business and label politics the owners of Delirium felt the need to create their own arm of support for the music community. Kompakt was born - inspired by Andy Warhol's Factory, Kompakt was the realization of creating a complete outlet for creative freedom in the music business and today boasts a label, record store, distributor, recording studios and booking agency. Michael's first mix CD Kompakt Köln Presents Michael Mayer (Neuton) would herald this new age for Cologne electronic music.
2002 brought the release of Immer - heralded as one of the decade's most essential mix CD's by the likes of Pitchfork, FACT and Resident Advisor. His flawless mix proclaimed a new dawn for techno and house. His 2003 mix CD for Fabric again proved that Michael was beating a different drum compared to the rest of the pack. He had finally brought the sound of Kompakt to a global level that had never been accomplished until that point
Finally, Kompakt sees the long-awaited release of Michael's sophomore album Mantasy, a long-awaited, indispensable update of Michael Mayer’s production sound and an essential release for the label in 2012: "It's my second solo album, but for me it’s really the first one”, says Michael, and indeed the masterful sequencing and high production value bear witness to an artist in full control of his medium. The album’s title refers to the escapist momentum of a cinematic journey into the unknown, a tribute to history’s great explorers, „to characters obsessed with an idea, to totally wrong conceptions of the world and faulty sea charts, to inconceivable exertions, all that lunacy“, but also an intimate trip to the core of the Kompakt sound itself, whose main ambassador has always been Michael Mayer.
Though he remains dedicated to the 4/4 kick drum, Michael Mayer is by no means a techno purist but is constantly striving to look beyond one's own nose, to shift frontiers and to go in depth. His compassion to the scene, devotion to music and his craft as a DJ and producer has set him in a standard that few have been able to accomplish. "A DJ has a certain responsibility. He has to play progressive, contemporary music and combine it with the past. It is all about entertaining people, but you must not under challenge nor overstrain them. You must be subversive and play music that no one would have ever dreamt of listening to voluntarily at the club. You are both, entertainer and educator."