It?s become sort of an unwritten rule. Labels celebrate their five or ten year anniversary or a certain ?round? catalog number with a label compilation. That is a good idea not only because a label anniversary is something to celebrate, but also because it gives the label an opportunity to showcase their roster. In the case of the Swedish Mitek label (five year anniversary) that roster has always been fairly interesting for fans of minimal electronic sounds and for this compilation they chose an approach similar to that of the Kompakt 100 compilation. Each of the artists was asked to remix a track taken from the existing Mitek catalog.
The problem with gigantic compilations like ?Do You Copy??, which features 28 tracks by 27 artists over the course of two and a half hours on two CDs, is that it?s not easy to maintain a level of continuous high quality. This is also the major weakness of ?Do You Copy?? since more than half of the compilation is a bit dull. Luckily, the Mitek people did manage to insert enough variation to keep the listener at least half-way interested. In line with Mitek?s past releases, the majority of tracks on ?Do You Copy?? harvest the fields of minimal and dubby techno and house. After a felt billion of 12? singles and albums of that genre that came out in the last six or seven years plus tons of MP3 releases on weblabels like Thinner, a certatin oversaturation is setlling in. For someone interested in the genre who?s not a specialist (like me), it?s not easy to tell apart one producer from another. So when listening to the straight 4/4 tracks by Folie, Johan Fotmeijer or Bulgur Brothers the musical appeal of them stays hidden behind computer technology. It might be that those producers are masters in handling their respective computer software, but in terms of sonic experience, those tracks don?t manage to trigger any emotions for me.
The highlights on the first CD of ?Do You Copy?? cross the boundaries of the minimal techno genre. Mikkel Metal, known through several fine releases on the German Kompakt label and his own Echochord imprint, works with delayed guitar chords and a slower beat which combine in a pleasant way. Smyglyssna have Bas-1 drop some lyrics on Freud over a grimey electronic beat. Jay Haze is moving more and more in the same direction that artists like Drew Daniel?s Soft Pink Truth project or Jamie Lidell are working in, i.e. twisted electronic booty funk. The best track on the compilation is Mokira?s ?The Bum that Will Bring Us Together.? Mokira is one of the recording monikers of Andreas Tilliander and his contribution sounds completely different from what he did on his albums for Mille Plateaux and Raster-Noton. There are no clicks and no cuts. Instead Tilliander takes a beautiful late 80s Britpop melody and granulates it into fine sand. Also Sweden?s Sophie Rimheden contributes a fine piece of music. Her signature J-Pop meets Samantha Fox style can never go wrong.
Disc two is going a little deeper and features some of the more inventive minimal techno tracks on ?Do You Copy??, but doesn?t have the variety of Disc One. There are some pretty good dancefloor tracks represented on the CD, most notably by Per Mikael, [A]ppendics Shuffle, Plug and Johan Skugge. But like on CD one there are some really boring and incredibly geeky ones. On Fenin?s ?Rice?n?Peas? for example, seriously nothing at all is happening and I guess that just diehard minimal fans will be able to explain what it is all about. On the whole, those weak moments on ?Do You Copy? are too numerous to make it an outstanding release. Maybe one CD with the eight or nine great tracks spread over the two CDs would have been the better choice. 5/10 -- Stephan Bauer (27 June, 2006)