Next month Soul Jazz Records will release A History of E.M.A.K. 1982-88.
It’s a compilation of tracks made by German studio geniuses Mathias Becker and Kurt Mill, with additional contributions from Klaus Stühlen. Working throughout the 80s under the name E.M.A.K. – Elektronische Musik Aus Köln – these three artists are now seen as providing an evolutionary link between the kosmische pioneers of 70’s Germany (Cluster, Conrad Schnitzler, Tangerine Dream et al) and later, more minimal synth-wave and industrial acts like D.A.F. as well as Baldelli-approved space-disco practitioners. The bedrock of the group’s legacy is the trilogy of self-titled albums, EMAK 1 (1982), EMAK 2 (1983) and EMAK 3 (1985); all three are rife with soaring melodies and pretty sequences, but in the main Becker and his cohorts reject pastoral drift in favour of linear, pulsating attacks that are undeniably proto-techno, standing comparison with Monoton’s more austere records of the same era.
Soul Jazz have yet to issue a tracklist for their compilation, but it’s safe to assume that it will pull primarily from the aforementioned private press trilogy. It will be released as a special box edition CD and limited edition heavyweight gatefold double vinyl.