Combination Traffic I & II

Some wonderful electronics by Combination Records, a rather low-profile quality Düsseldorf freestyle label active for about seven years now.

Focusing on sweet breaks, equally balanced between down- and uptempo stuff, combining IDM synths and germanic Ableton beats with acidic touches here and there, these compilations have easily been of my favorites when it comes to the 'freestyle' sound. Overall a serious counter proposition to the 'lounge' sound of Paris or Vienna, for example (both scenes have released some really interesting records, but IMO also a lot of uninspired crap). Reminds me a bit of Hydrogen Dukebox (they share Norken aka Metamatics) or Clear, in the sense that these labels were also pigeon-holed as 'electronica' while they didn't actually sticked to a certain sound, promoting producers rather than genres or styles.

Many artists come from the drum'n'bass, nu-funk and future jazz scene, like The Green Man, Hidden Agenda, Fehlmann & Louise, Telescope, housey Matt Flores, or the magnificent Kabuki. There are also some rather heavyweight guys here like Hardfloor (as Dadamnphreeknoizphunk) or Christopher Just, side by side with Clatterbox , Brothomstates, even BOC. Or sweet tech stuff from the likes of SCSI-9, Delsin's Aardvarck, Lowtec and the great Swimmingpool project (Antonelli Electr. & Michael Scheibenreiter, also one half of Phoneheads). The sound is rather indescribable, I could sum up saying only it's futuristic urban music for everyone. I also appreciate a lot that many side-projects here put out stuff that's really different from what they usually do.
Other label guests have also been Staubgold's Ekkehard Elhers (aka Betrieb aka Auch), Stefan Schneider (aka Mapstation) and Hanno Leichtmann (aka Static of CCO).

It's true a Combination vinyl is a rare sight down here. I only have Traffic II (2LP) and I've seen another 12" during the last six years. Still, these two CDs have been keeping me company for a long long time. I consider them to be daytime music, still the choice is up to you. Τotally recommended for all.

VA - Combination Traffic 2001
Info here.

VA - Combination Traffic II 2002
Info here.

(If someone has a rip of Traffic III, please let me know).

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