‘Musik for Autobahns': Making the Road as Good as the Trip

Every week or thereabouts, Mutant Dance Moves takes you to the shadowy corners of the dancefloor and the fringes of contemporary electronic music, where new strains and dance moves are evolving.

Gerd Janson is a triple threat in electronic music: he runs Germany’s top-shelf Running Back imprint along with Thorsten Scheu (releasing lithe singles from the likes of Theo Parrish, Mark E, Tiger & Woods, and the like), scribes articles as a music journalist for magazines like Groove andSpex, and is considered a DJ’s DJ, expertly blending undiscovered gems from the past and setting them alongside cutting-edge new 12”s in his sets.

Wait, here’s another three: He’s also part of the Red Bull Music Academy’s brain trust, produces tracks as half of Tuff City Kids, and Janson also has a knack for putting together fine compilations as well. A few years back, he compiled (in conjunction with Jazzanova) two volumes of Computer Incarnations for World Peace, which found a silver thread connecting the likes of Sylvester, Jean-Luc Ponty and 80s one-hit wonder’s The Fixx to modern music masters like Todd Terje and Prins Thomas. So, that makes him a six-tool player (to tweak a baseball parlance) in the world of modern electronic music.

Five years on, he follows up CIfWP with Musik for Autobahns, a choice compilation that doubles as splendid overview of the current state of modern electronic music, culling fourteen tracks from both established producers like Âme, Marcus Worgull & Motor City Drum Ensemble, and Move D as well as young upstarts like Suzanne Kraft and Young Marco. Standouts include the skittering, E2-E4-esque submission from Âme, a pinging and gurgling track from Tom Trago and a doorbell-tinged selection from Tensnake. While still early in the year, this is easily one of the finest compilations of 2013, a vital document of what thrills about modern dance music and doubles as exquisite home listening, regardless of region: sounds emanate from Amsterdam, Brooklyn, LA, Hamburg, London. We caught up with the modern Renaissance man to ask about making comps, retromania, and if the comp indeed soundtracks his commute on the Autobahn.

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