Balance Presents Kolsch


From funky house chart smashes as Rune through anonymous techno 12"s as Tattoorecs to his current incarnation as Kölsch, Rune Reilly Kølsch has never stood still for long amidst the ever-shifting electronic music landscape. Perhaps his eclecticism is not surprising, having been born in Copenhagen's autonomous bohemian district Christianshavn to a German artist mother and an Irish singer-songwriter father. One thing's for sure: his new direction has seen him enjoy a higher level of acclaim and fanaticism than ever before. His bold decision to bring melody, riffs and color back to techno -- in a time when the vogue has been leaning more towards the industrial and dubbed-out once again -- has paid off in a big way. Ever the visionary, Kompakt's Michael Mayer signed him for the first of several releases on his Speicher label back in 2010, culminating in his stunning debut album 1977 (KOMP 107CD/ KOM 276LP). With everyone from Seth Troxler to Axwell playing his unmistakable epics, his appeal is uniquely widespread, combining the accessibility of strong melodies with the incisiveness of boundary-pushing techno. This positioning makes for a truly riveting Balance mix. The dazzling arpeggios of Galaxy 2 Galaxy's "Journey of the Dragon" gently begin Kölsch's journey into the atmospheric netherworlds of electronic music, segueing effortlessly into the yearning vocals and hazy synth breaks of John Talabot's remix of Pional's "It's All Over." Danny Daze's immense "Freeze (Frozen Mix)" takes things into a darker direction with its gurgling arpeggiated acid bass line and cutting, shimmering synths building up an immersive and hypnotic wall of sound. The spitting percussion of Henrik Schwarz's "Lockstep" unexpectedly gives way to the haunting pianos and unmistakable vocals of Radiohead's "Videotape"; a moment of subdued introspection and a chance for the listener to catch their breath. Respite is brief, as the techno machinations of Dhumen's "No More" tees up the slow-building rush of Kölsch's own "Punchbuggy" and the gigantic, swirling stabs of Adrian Hour's hard-grooving "Chordgresion." Maceo Plex's remix of Odd Parents takes the mix to a blissful high, before Stephan Hintz & Phillipp Ruhmhardt's "Panther" teases with its grinding riffs moving in and out of focus. Kölsch's "Papageno" shows his production prowess at its mind-bending finest, with Kenny Larkin's sublimely undulating "Plankton" providing a mellow stepping stone for Tale Of Us & Mano Le Tough's gigantic Caribou remix to seep in gently. We're brought into deeper territories as we edge towards a rousing climax, Kölsch's perfectly-balanced remix of Coldplay's "A Sky Full of Stars" taking the band's unbridled euphoria into a more subtle and considered place. Joris Voorn's wonderfully haunting remix of Audion and Troels Abrahamsen's "Dem Howl" rounds off the mix, graceful pads and soulful vocals making for a fittingly emotive ending.