With !K7, you’re talking that rare realm of indie-label über-cool. Founded in post-techno 1996, the company first offered its DJ-Kicks collections spotlighting European beatmasters. By the time !K7 forged an association with Vienna’s G-Stone, though, and snagged Kruder & Dorfmeister—whose relaxed braininess and sexuality moor but don’t define the label—!K7 seemed a special prospect indeed. It resurrected the stylish musical seriousness of the ’70s-’80s Franco-American Celluloid label, or the international wit of Michael Zilkha’s also disappeared Ze.
Unlike the chatty Ze, however, !K7 can live without words. As demonstrated by !K7150, a delicious and deep two-disc compilation of !K7’s past and future, marking the Berlin-based company’s 150th release, this is soundhound country. From the English producer Herbert designing melodic angles to Richard Dorfmeister and Rupert Huber’s colorful yet rigorously composed dance-pop fancy Tosca to Rae & Christian performing with Bobby Womack, !K7 music romps around in the Egyptian-cotton vibe of vintage U.S. jazz and soul. For this aural persuasion, the edge courts the un-edge, the urban remembers the rural, and harshness is something other people tolerate. Buy !K7150 now and receive a third disc, a DVD that collects 14 addictive videos. More Antonioni than MTV, they all sound good, too.