Kompakt Signs Vermont, a.k.a. Marcus Worgull and Motor City Drum Ensemble’s Danilo Plessow
Krautrock veterans Jaki Liebezeit and Dominik von Senger will appear on synth-heavy debut album
The Green Mountain State isn’t exactly known as an electronic-music hotbed, but that hasn’t stopped two German musicians from adopting the state’s name as their collaborative alias. Recording as Vermont, Marcus Worgull and Danilo Plessow will release their self-titled debut album in March on Cologne’s Kompakt label.
It’s the first time either artist has appeared on the titanic techno imprint, but Vermont’s members are both well known for their respective solo work. Worgull, much like his Innervisions colleagues Dixon and Âme, is a careful craftsman of sensitive, understated epics, a style he put to excellent use in his remix of the xx’s “Fiction.” Plessow, better known as Motor City Drum Ensemble, is a devotee of classic, sample-heavy house; he paid tribute to his roots on his 2011 DJ Kicks mix, which featured songs from Mr. Fingers, Robert Hood, and Arthur Russell’s Loose Joints alongside selections from Sun Ra, Tony Allen, and Aphex Twin. (It was also, incidentally, one of SPIN’s 20 Best Dance Albums of 2011.)
For their self-titled debut, out March 17, Kompakt promises “fourteen sleek soundscapes of almost krautrockish proportions.” They recorded the album in Plessow’s Cologne studio using an array of vintage analog synthesizers, and if it’s Krautrock they’re going for, they’ve turned to the right collaborators: Can’s Jaki Liebezeit (No. 6 in SPIN’s 100 Greatest Drummers of Alternative Music) plays percussion on two songs, while Dominik von Senger (of the groups Phantom Band and Dunkelziffer, and recently found recording solo for New York’s Golf Channel) plays guitar on three. Ireland’s Dermot O’Mahony also appears on violin, while Cologne’s Lena Willikens (a cult-favorite DJ and member, with Institut Für Feinmotorik’s Melanie Wratil, of the noise duo Titanoboa) plays theremin.
For now, that’s all we know, but the players involved suggest a new direction for Kompakt, never the easiest label to pin down in the first place. Stressing the “informal” nature of the project, the press release notes, “[T]hese cuts were not conceived with specific aesthetic goals in mind, but emerged from a series of loose jam sessions.” Perhaps they were inspired by Vermont’s state motto: “Freedom and Unity.”