The house wall of Kompakt, © Tourismus NRW e.V.


From the Bel­gian quarter to the world

Kom­pakt ? as a la­bel, book­ing agency and re­cord shop ? is the epi­tome of the ?Sound of Co­logne?. This sound, which was de­veloped in the 1990s, is based on clear beats, re­duced vo­cals, if there are vo­cals at all, and little melody. This is not big space techno, or hard Ber­lin club sounds, or high-speed beats like the ones in Frank­furt, and there are no star DJs or raves with fam­ous guests. This is of­ten called ?min­im­al techno?, but ul­ti­mately, the ?Sound of Co­logne? is so di­verse, play­ing with archiv­al samples, scraps of Ger­man hit songs and ab­stract sounds, that it sounds just as wide-ran­ging as the many people that play it.

The sound began in the early 1990s. It was then, to­geth­er with his friend Jörg Bur­ger, Jür­gen Paape and his broth­er Re­in­hard Voigt, that Wolfgang Voigt foun­ded the ?De­li­ri­um? re­cord shop. Here, the pop­u­lar na­tion­al and in­ter­na­tion­al techno re­cords were sold, as well as a large num­ber of rare and ob­scure re­cord­ings. At the same time, the artists also pro­duced their own vinyl re­cords, which to­geth­er with the in­flu­ence of many oth­er mu­si­cians and la­bels such as a-mu­sik and in loc­a­tions such as the Stadtgarten or the Brus­sels Square gradu­ally led to the form­a­tion of the cha­ris­mat­ic ?Sound of Co­logne?. Dur­ing the course of the 1990s, the sound was dis­covered and cel­eb­rated in Eng­land, Italy and the US. Co­logne be­came a ?Mecca of elec­tron­ic mu­sic? and since then ? par­tic­u­larly thanks to Kom­pakt and a-mu­sik ? it has offered a coun­ter­mod­el to the Ber­lin elec­tro sound. Voigt, Paape, Thomas May­er, Jus­tus Köh­ncke and many oth­ers who are cel­eb­rat­ing 25 years of Kom­pakt this year, have be­come an es­sen­tial part of the Co­logne club scene.

Dur­ing the day, it?s fun to vis­it the hid­den kom­pakt re­cord store, which is now with­in sight of the former Base­ment. Here, every re­cord presen­ted re­flects the in­flu­ence of the artists, and every spe­cially dis­played book prom­ises to be a good read. This is a great way to dis­cov­er and hear the as­ton­ish­ing vari­ety of everything that makes up the ?min­im­al techno? Co­logne sound.

Fur­ther in­form­a­tion:
Wer­der­straße 15-19, 50672 Co­logne


All Pop-Spots of Co­logne