Kotai + Mo

Another cryptic label out of the Berlin scene, Elektro Music Department was/is run by Kotai and Mo. It has mostly released their stuff plus collaborations with well respected artists like Baby Ford (*) or Riley Reinhold of Traum as well as the lesser known but great El Puma and 100records. This is a compilation of the first Kotai + Mo 12''s.

Even though they had strong connections with the Cologne empire, WMF, Perlon, Monica Enterprises and many more of the Berlin old school, EMD artists remained obscure for the mainstream, just because of their music. An atavistic approach to rhythm and the love of dark throbbing analog electro basslines, borrowing heavily from the city's techno dub tradition as well as from minimal synth and early acid, was stretched to the point of monomania by repetition and spiced with druggy vocals. References to Suicide are as strong as these to Basic Channel and their sound is almost unique in its bass fixation and its solidness, a synthetic wall of low frequencies. Despite its claustrophobic atmospheres due to their sound some tracks work well in clubs, although mostly for crowds of heavily drugged children of the night.

Unfortunately Kotai and Mo, following the spirit of many of Berlin's artists in general, embedded their various influences in a single creative norm, a sound blueprint and sticked to it so hard that most of their tracks ended sounding identical - new ideas were scarce and got lost in the otherwise similar 12'' releases. When they tried different things the results were magical, but sadly it didn't happen much. Releases by other artists refreshed the label a bit, with moderate results in the long run. Later Kotai released a solo album with a lot of vocals in WMF, out of which came the 'Sucker DJ' hit (written by Tommi Eckart of 2raumwohnung). A re-release of this on the EMD label may be the only still available vinyl from them, check the back catalogue in the Kompakt shop.

This post may seem weird, since they have already put out their music in their sites. Yet I believe it's important to listen to this compilation in (relatively) good quality in order to understand their sound, so start here and then go there for a better idea of what they were all about. Then BUY THE VINYL.
Kotai claims the Disko B(ombs) #4 release back in 1991.

Elektro Music Department.
On previous posts, there are two EMD artists' tracks (here and here).

Kotai + Mo - 1999, selftitled
Part 1 - Part 2
Info here.

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