Michael Mayer was born and brought up in the clean air of the Black Forest, deep in Germany's south-west corner. As a kid his days and nights were filled with music, either liberated from his parents' collection, absorbed via his bedside radio or tentatively played on the household's piano. He first heard DJs at youth discos and was smitten, immediately beginning his own record collection - Italian disco, the Pet Shop Boys, extended 12" mixes of pop tracks and classic funk are its foundations. At the age of 20 Michael moved to Cologne, the warmest part of Germany in both temperature and attitude. With the help of Wolfgang and Reinhardt Voigt - already-cherished Cologne artists - he forged a characteristically grounded career, equally mundane and insane. Michael's time is split between producing tracks, DJing globally (he tours Japan and the US in late 2003) and overseeing the distribution of many of Europe's underground labels. He works at Kompakt, a deceptively named business incorporating a vibrant release schedule, recording studios, distribution centres and a gigantic record store, all in the heart of Cologne. Every Friday Michael eats with best pals and fellow Kompakt artists Tobias Thomas and Aksel Superpitcher, before partying at Total Confusion, their Studio 672 clubnight.
"This doesn't really represent a club set: I prefer mix CDs to use personal records that tell you a story. DJing for me is not about impressing people with technical skills. My aim is to tell a story by using tracks like sentences spoken one after the other. It's a sequence or a narrative. The only thing I pre-determine is that I play 4/4. The rest happens by accident. I love to warm up and take my time to get in to it, to take people with me. At the end I love to play songs and some things you can whistle on the way home." Michael Mayer
'fabric 13' displays the components that make Michael Mayer and Kompakt essential. It was made in one-take on a Monday afternoon in an empty Studio 672. Alongside minimal techno there's killer acid, low-slung eighties grooves, heart-stealing strings, live drums, a heap of melody and no purist sensibilities. Westbam and Nena's 'Oldschool, Baby [Piano Mix]' is Michael's favourite 'Schlager' track, a German mainstream genre that infects much of Kompakt's output (direct translation: Schlager = Hit).