Kompressor makes music that is a strange blend of industrial electronics, children song lyrics, and even rap. If Kraftwerk, Chris and Cosey, and the Childrens Television Workshop got together to make music, it might sound something like Kompressor. Or it might not.
Kompressor is artist Andreas K, right. According to the Kompressor site, he was born in Bremen, Germany and “come to united states of america for computerprogram job. now dedicated to crushing america with industrial might”. His instruments are “synth, crush, fear and death”.
Many of Kompressor’s tracks are a sort of alien childrens song. These include K is for Kompressor, Adding up Numbers, Brush your teeth, Vitamins are good, and Do not talk to strangers. Other songs are about Kompressor crushing things that are bad, including We must destroy X10 & Destroy Mass Media. Finally, Kompressor does many songs about his mayhem, sort of a gangsta rap for aliens.
Kompressor released its first cassette in 1998. World Domination, its first CD, came out in 2001. Kompressor followed that with Crush Television in 2002. The latest CD is Discipline.
The Kompressor website features free MP3’s of two albums, along with several music videos.
Synthtopia recently asked Andreas K. about Kompressor and his music:
Synthtopia: Andreas, your music is hard to categorize. Kompressor makes music that you don’t hear in the mass media, so many electronic music fans won’t know about you. What can you tell us about Kompressor and your music?
Andreas K: KOMPRESSOR music is for animation of people. not only physical move, but mental, political. we seek to animate people to make changes in media that surrounds them.
Synthtopia: A Google search for “Kompressor” turns up your site first, above Mercedes Benz’ Kompressor car, and the FatPipe Kompressor networking device. Why do you call yourself “Kompressor”, and how did you manage to crush those other websites?
Andreas K: our name is KOMPRESSOR. it means many things in german. one is like the spelling, “compressor”. we take music and make high power, it is like air compressor. we put hard synthesizer and drum machine onto the tape. the result is high pressure music which is very powerful. companies have the same idea but clearly they only try to sell products, they do not create works of music for people to listen to.
Synthtopia: What’s a Kompressor performance like? Do you perform as Andreas K, or as Kompressor? (Kompressor shown at right, crushing american burger)
Andreas K: our shows have many elements. one element is powerful loud music. another element is that the crowd must enjoy the show. no standing with scowls. you can jump to listen to the music, often we have dancers on stage to encourage the audience to use their energy with the music.
we also change the show. some bands have same costumes, same music set, same people, every night. one day we have some members to play live drummachine and synthesizer. other days the show is less people, more dancing. all shows have live vocals and perhaps live synth, we use keyboardsynth on strap to play with motion.
one day i use space suit. another day, cheerleader. another day, chicken. you do not know until you come to show. the shows make you happy. our music is for health and humor as well as politics.
Synthtopia: Several of your songs talk about “synthesizer power”. DER TODESSYNTHESIZER celebrates the “synthesizer of death”. Can you tell us a little about your weapons of mass destruction?
Andreas K: clearly you are more skilled than others to find these “WMD”.
in studio we give names to particular synthsounds that are made. often we record, and say “now put der todessynthesizer for bass line”, “now put mekanik for melody”. it helps to describe sounds. some sounds are too powerful for only audio. many can not handle these sounds. if you are powerful, the sounds animate you.
Synthtopia: Your version of Girl from Ipanema made me blow coffee out my nose. It was funny, but a little painful. The part where you sing “when she passes, each one she passes says AAAAAAAAGGGGHHHH!” was what did it. What made you want to do an industrial version of a smooth jazz standard?
Andreas K: perhaps it is now “smooth jazz” but always this is a brazilian song from very long ago, the song is very high quality. we enjoy this song very much and show that it can be used in high power, it is not only for commercial or mall. you see a girl, inside your head there are screams, the echo. it is similar to the song.
Synthtopia: Your site mentions that you have no commercials, no billboards, no radio stations playing music that is paid for, and no videos with dancing girls. What have you got against dancing girls?
Andreas K: you come to show, you see our dancing girls on stage, it is the end of your story. clearly it is not what we hate.
Synthtopia: The Kompressor site has CDs, t-shirts, even a cool “My child is an honor student at Kompressor middle school” bumper sticker. Do you have anything that you want to shamelessly plug?
Andreas K: our merchandise is high quality and inexpensive. t-shirts for all people.
Synthtopia: What’s Kompressor got planned for 2004?
Andreas K: small tour in summer or fall. more recording at end of year.
Synthtopia: Thanks for your time, Andreas.
You can find out more about Andreas K. and Kompressor at the Kompressor Music site.