Magnus International - "Kosmetik" (Full Pupp Presents The Greatest Tits, Vol. 1)
Apart from its terrible, punning title and silly artwork – something that would not be out of place as a wall drawing on a friend’s Facebook profile – Full Pupp’s double-disc compilation The Greatest Tits, Vol. 1 has the misfortune of opening with “Skumle Planer,” a perfect-but-brief wisp of airy techno that gets an incredible amount of mileage out of a few carefully placed, roiling guitar loops. This two-disc collection is the fledgling label’s first compilation, and label owner Prins Thomas has cleverly split it in two: the first disc is given over to his mix, while the second collects unmixed tracks from the label’s three-year history. Thomas made judicious choices of what to include – there are only a few redundancies, and the mix itself is roundly entertaining. This is chewy, bright disco that gets both deeper and more buoyant as it goes along, and which hews closer to an indigenous sense of exploration than to a predefined dance template. The reader can rest assured that the comp gets its clumsiest moment out of the way early on: when Thomas sutures the dreamy “Planer” to the pug-ugly disco of Todd Terje’s “Kul I Pul,” you may wince a little out of the slight regret that something so billowy and absorbing has to end. “Kul I Pul” is otherwise a very good track, and a well-chosen warm-up for the lovely drift Thomas is putting in motion, all blorping sequenced synths, wide-eyed goofiness, and a suggestive, pastoral sense of breadth.
Yet the more time I spend with this compilation, the more I’m convinced that its occasional, slight awkwardness is a small sacrifice, one that’s much preferable to the dull consistency of a more reigned-in minimal sound. While another recent double-disc monster, Death From Abroad’s Nobody Knows Anything, serves as an overview of how American house, techno and acid are received by European musicians, The Greatest Tits, Vol. 1 is its prankster cousin, taking an apparently ironic inspiration from new age schmaltz (check out Todd Terje’s mystical flute-driven “Glittertind”) and turning it into something transporting. These light gestures contribute to a sense of possibility throughout The Greatest Tits that is strong enough to make the listener feel that the producers are capable of folding just about any extraneous sound into their messy, marshmallow-like tracks.
Although comparisons within the Scandinavian nu-disco scene are inevitable, these productions’ sense of space and curiosity don’t have much to do with Lindstrøm’s Manuel Göttsching-like accomplishment on his Where You Go I Go Too.
Where Lindstrøm’s scope is panoramic, these tracks aim for the enclosed space of the dance floor, even as Magnus International’s “Onkel Reisende Mac” and others like it push skyward. Although it’s made up of smaller set pieces, Tits is similar to Where You Go in one sense: it only casts its spell when you can set aside two hours to sit down with it. Needless to say, that’s just how it should be.