The compilation market has to be one of the most competitive markets. Every week, hundreds of compilations are released. They vary considerably in quality, and range from the good, bad and indifferent. However, very occasionally, a compilation stops a critic in their tracks. That was the case with Gerd Jenson’s Musik For Autobahns compilation.

Musik For Autobahns was released back in March 2013, on the Rush Hour label. Described as: “Industrial Ambient and Electrifying New Age,” Musik For Autobahns struck a nerve with critics and record buyers. It was well received  upon its release. No wonder.

There were exclusive tracks from Âme, Move D, Quiet Village Marco Passarani, Roman Flügel and Tom Trago on Musik For Autobahns. It seemed compiler Gerd Jenson was picking up where he left off with his Computer Incarnations For World Peace compilations. They had been one of success stories at the Sonal Kollectiv label. Musik For Autobahns looked like being Gerd Jenson’s next success story.

Many people thought that it wouldn’t be long until Musik For Autobahns Volume 2 was released. After all, why not strike while the iron is hot? However, two-and-half years passed before Musik For Autobahns Volume 2 was released on 30th October 2015 on Rush Hour.

It seems Gerd Jenson was determined that Musik For Autobahns Volume 2 would match or surpass the quality of Musik For Autobahns. He was only going to release Musik For Autobahns Volume 2 when he had the best music possible. Eventually, Gerd had secured tracks from Conga Radion, Joy Orbison, AKSK, Shan, Bicep, Orson Welles and Lauer. Will this music match Musik For Autobahns Volume 2’s description of “Ambient Race Car Music?”

For Musik For Autobahns Volume 2’s opening track, Gerd Jenson has chosen Conga Radio’s 168 North. Conga Radio will be a new name to most people. They released Naturalmente as a single in March 2015 on the Good Timin’ label. 168 North is an interesting choice of track. It’s not as ambient as I’d expected as genres melt into one. Elements of ambient, electronica, funk, house and jazz can be heard. From hypnotic and funky, the the music becomes upbeat, melodic and joyous. With its feel-good sound, many people will enjoy 168 North as party of the soundtrack to their journey. However, personally, it’s the wrong track to open the album. I would be controversial and suggest that the track doesn’t belong on the album, given it’s so far removed from “Ambient Race Car Music.”

Portsmouth based ‘producer’ Leon Vynehall released his debut album Music For The Uninvited in 2014. However, Leon has submitted a new track for Musik For Autobahns Volume 2. That’s Midnight On Rainbow Road. Its much more what I’d been expect. It has a dreamy, mesmeric ambient sound. The music just washes over the listener, and sometimes, sounds like a journey at Midnight On Rainbow Road. Given the track’s ambient quality it would’ve made sense if it opened Musik For Autobahns Volume 2. It would certainly have set the tone for the album much better.

Peter O’Grady a.k.a. Joy Orbison is following in the footsteps of his uncle, Ray Keith. He spent four decades DJ-ing and producing. However, Joy Orbison is just at the start of his career. Going by the quality of Joy Orbison’s contribution A213, he has a bright future ahead of him. His moody, pulsating, Kraftwerk influenced journey down the Autobahn or A213 one of the highlights of Musik For Autobahns Volume 2.

AKSK is a collaboration between Adda Kaleh and Suzanne Kraft. They contribute Breathing, a quite beautiful, dreamy ambient track. It’s reminiscent of the music that was popular in the mid to late nineties, when ‘chill out’ music was popular. There’s a nod to AIR and Afterlife on a track that will make your trip down the Autobahn all the more enjoyable.

Since 2013, Shan, a Frankfurt based producer has released a handful of singles. His star seems to be in the ascendancy. So it’s fitting that this rising star has been asked to contribute a track. Awakening is Shan’s contribution. With its futuristic, otherworldly sound, it’s as if Shan’s drawn inspiration from the great German ambient composers of the seventies. He’s then given this a moderne twist, including the hypnotic, mesmeric drums. The sci-fi sounds add to the cinematic sound, and make you wonder what’s hovering above your automobile?  

Bicep are an experienced DJ and production duo from Belfast, in Northern Ireland. Andrew Ferguson and Matthew McBriar have been making music together since 2010, and have an impressive back-catalogue. They contributed Bicep, which again, sounds as if it’s been influenced by Kraftwerk. This seven minute epic has a futuristic, hypnotic epic. Again, I wouldn’t describe the track as ambient. However,  it could be part of some people’s soundtrack to a journey down the autobahn.

Michael Greene has released two albums as Fort Romeau. His debut was Kingdoms, with Insides following earlier in 2015.  Seleno is a new track, and is perfect for Musik For Autobahns Volume 2. Just like other tracks on the compilation, Krafwerk are a noticeable influence. So are ambient, techno and house. This mesmeric, otherworldly sounding track oozes quality. Fort Romeau experience has been put to good use, and the result is a track that’s a perfect fit for Musik For Autobahns Volume 2. It sounds like “ambient race car music.”

A compilation with a track from Orson Welles I hear you ask? That would be incredible. He died thirty years ago. So unless a medium was brought into the recording studio, and they channeled copious amounts of woo, it’s someone else. That’s the case. Instead, it’s Orson Wells. This is one of three aliases producer Lennard Poschmann uses.  Orson Wells’ contribution is Orbiting Jupiters. It sees Orson spiring a cornucopia of surprises. From a spacey, sci-fi sound Orbiting Jupiters becomes jazz-tinged, before there’s a nod to Acid House. All the time the dreamy, meditative and otherworldly cinematic sound captivates.

Just like James Bond, Mike Taylor dawns an alter ego. Mike’s is the wonderfully named Disco Nihilist. His previous productions include It’s Grim Up North and Running Far Away. For Musik For Autobahns Volume 2, Disco Nihilist contributes Melancholy. Somewhat ironically, given his moniker there’s a disco influence to the shuffling, mesmeric Melancholy. Whether it fits the description of: “ambient race car music” is debatable? However, it’s quality can’t be faulted.

Lauer’s Autofahrn closes Musik For Autobahns Volume 2. DJ and producer Phillip Lauer is obviously a huge fan of Kraftwerk. He pays homage to Ralf Hütter’s groundbreaking group on Autofahrn. It’s been inspired by Kraftwerk’s Autobahn. Phillp Lauer even uses the vocoder to add sing “Autofahrn.” Despite being influenced by a Kraftwerk classic, Autofahrn is one of  the highlights of Musik For Autobahns Volume 2, the long-awaited and much-anticipated followup to Musik For Autobahns.

It was released in March 2013. Since then, many people have eagerly awaited the release of Musik For Autobahns Volume 2. Two-and-a-half years is a long time to wait for this compilation of “Ambient Race Car Music.” However, has it been worth the wait?

When I pressed play and heard Conga Radio’s 168 North, I was disappointed. There was nothing wrong with the quality of music. Instead, 168 North isn’t what most people would expect from an album of “Ambient Race Car Music.” Things improved with Leon Vynehall’s Midnight on Rainbow Road and Joy Orbison’s A213. It was like being on a journey down the autobahn late at night. Even the breathy ambient sound of AKSK’s Breaking fitted in. From there Shan, Fort Romeau and Orson Wells keep the “Ambient Race Car Music” coming. There’s a blip with Bicep’s Carmine the ironically named Disco Nihilist. Despite their quality, neither track fits in with the “Ambient Race Car Music” theme. However, Lauer, like a musical superhero, saves the day with Autofahrn, his homage to Kraftwerk’s Autobahn. That seemed a fitting way to end Musik For Autobahns Volume 2.

After all, Kraftwerk are one of the most important and innovative groups in the history of electronic music. Without them, the musical landscape would be very different. Given the influence they’ve had on electronic music, it’s no surprise that so many artists on Musik For Autobahns Volume 2 referenced Kraftwerk. Their influence can be heard on several tracks. This  includes some of the highlights of the highlights of this eagerly-awaited compilation. However, has Musik For Autobahns Volume 2 been worth the wait?

Yes and no. There’s some good music on  Musik For Autobahns Volume 2.  Sadly, none of the tracks are outstanding. Similarly,  the compilation is good, but not great. It’s more Borussia Monchengladbach than Bayern Munich. Musik For Autobahns Volume 2. That’s a shame, as Musik For Autobahns Volume 2 has been eagerly awaited. However, there’s been much better compilations released during 2015. Most of the tracks are worthy of their place on Musik For Autobahns Volume 2. The others have wandered onto the wrong movie. Gerd Jenson’s compilation of “Ambient Race Car Music” has left me feeling somewhat disappointed.

For some time, I had been looking forward to the release of  Musik For Autobahns Volume 2. Sadly, the compilation hasn’t matched the hype. This album of “Ambient Race Car Music” isn’t the laid-back, loved-up journey I had hoped. Musik For Autobahns Volume 2 won’t send you down the autobahn in a beatific, mesmeric and chilled out state. Having said that, road-rage will be the last thing on your mind. Most likely, you’ll end up reaching for your trusty copy of Kraftwerk’s Autobahn, rather than Musik For Autobahns Volume 2.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: