"Michael Reinboth, founder and owner of Compost and Compose Records, is a real workaholic, so it is no wonder he has earned himself a reputation in various fields. His professions and projects range from music journalism and authorship to DJing and artist management. Since the late 1970s, Michael has been digging deep into music, working as a journalist, artist and composer and who’s had great influence on the club scene, local and global alike. With his labels Compost and Compose records Michael managed to create a well-respected platform for innovative music and grooves that have inspired musicians throughout the world!
In 1979, when he had just finished school, Michael and two of his friends decided to set up for themselves, so they founded "Elaste”, a fashion-, political-, music- and style-magazine similar to "The Face”. This publication set the start for Michael´s career as a journalist, for the magazine soon enjoyed a tremendous underground cult-status and became a sensational success, getting props form around the globe, receiving several awards (including the European Design Award for print magazines in 1984), and even being picked up by Andy Warhol´s Factory as part supplement for the artist´s "Interview”. After stopping the publication of Elaste in 1986, Michael worked as a freelance writer for a number of magazines such as Spex, MusikExpress, Spiegel
, and Network Press, to name only a few. Nowadays he´s still writing columns for WOM and Jazz Thing and was also co-author of "Chasin´ A Dream” (Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 1989), a book that deals with Soul, Funk, and Black Music issues.
Along with his journalism career, Michael also began establishing his remarkable DJ career in the early 1980s. He made his first appearance as a DJ at age 20, spinning the wheels at "Basement”, a club in his hometown Hannover. "I remember that The Basement was the first club in Hannover where the DJ had to buy and bring his own records”, says Michael. "That was something very unusual at that time. I used to play a wild mix of what I really liked.”
This selection of Michael´s personal favourites, ranging from Underground music to HipHop, alternative Electro sounds and rare Soul, was a peculiar mixture of tunes that were both educating and entertaining for the clubbers!
When he moved to Munich in 19?? to study journalism, Michael brought these unique DJ-sets and fresh sounds into the Bavarian metropolis. Being the first Munich DJ to play garage-house tunes from the likes of The Peech Boys "Don´t Make Me Wait” or Harlekin Force´s "Set It Off”, it is no wonder Michael soon became a resident DJ in the city´s best and biggest clubs. Some of the tracks he played – such as for example Silicon Soul´s "Who Needs Sleep Tonight”, which was later remixed by DJ Hell – became classic anthems in Munich and abroad.
The step from Old School HipHop and danceable New Wave to a somewhat funky and jazzy Black Music seemed a "natural development” to Michael. As soon as the first sample tracks like Double D & Steinsky´s "Lesson 1, 2 and 3” hit the local record shops, Michael got them and featured them. Soul and Jazz came back with the New School, and by checking out all original Rare Grooves and funky things that were sampled at the early stage of New School HipHop, Michael was always up-front and became known by almost everybody in Germany who had a thing going for nightlife, club music, Black Music, Records and DJing. He was a popular and frequent guest-DJ at Cologne´s "Soulful Shack” night, a true Modern and Northern Soul party, where Michael was out to make Rare Groove, Boogie, Soul and Garage more popular in the south of Germany. During the Acid House wave, he was the driving force behind more soulful and groovy stuff, and instead of inviting Baby Ford or Adamski for his regular club nights @ the Babalu, Michael decided to invite UK-DJs like Gilles Peterson
, Norman Jay, Sylvester, Patrick Forge, Coldcut
or James Lavelle instead. One of his club nights became the legendary "Into Somethin´”, which was voted "one of the best club nights in Europe” by The Face in 1998 and is still alive and kickin´ every Friday night at Muffathalle!
In Process of the development of House, Disco, Downbeat, TripHop, Drum & Bass, Breakbeat and Electro in the 90s, he launched the clubs "Mandarin Lounge” and "Electric Lounge” with their escapades into spherical structures and broken beats. As Michael puts it:
"I have never been the kind of DJ to play strictly one style. I´ve always tried to present a wide range of interesting music, making the past to the present and other-way-round! I´m a full spectrum DJ. My favourite DJs are still those who play deep shit, just the best tunes, old and new, entertaining the crowd as well as giving respect to the originators. It´s not the mix that counts, it´s the mixture!”
In 1993 @ "Into Somethin´”, Michael met Rainer Trüby. Rainer, a music addict just like himself (Michael currently owns more than 60,000 vinyls and 8000 CDs...), gave Michael a demo-tape with two tracks recorded by Bernd Kunz and himself, later known as A Forest Mighty Black. Michael, fed up with being a scout, spontaneously decided to produce these AFMB tracks in Munich as an initial start for Compost Records. The first release appeared in 1993!
Right after recording sessions for AFMB, Michael and studio-owner Jan Krause, a trained sound-engineer and the bass-player of the famous Rare Groove band "The Poets Of Rhythm”, founded their own project called Beanfield.
Beanfield, whose first singles "Charles” and "Keep On Believing” became downbeat club classics, reflects Michael´s personal history and development of musical styles and skills. It is something of an amalgamation of Electro, Sci-Fi Black Music, with some Jazz influences and HipHop structures, soundwise a mixture of digital and analogue, musicwise an organic melange of musicianship based on samples.
In the meantime, Compost Records has grown up with a number of exquisite acts such as Fauna Flash
, Rainer Trüby
, Les Gammas, Beanfield
, Procreation, Syrup and the compilation series "Future Sounds Of Jazz” and "Glücklich”, and has become
"a welcome light of funky warmth to a worldwide scene” (XLR8R, USA)
"most prolific label coming out of Germany” (I-D)
"Munich’s Compost label has become somewhat of a treasure trove over the last couple of years" (Jockey Slut, UK)
"Compost shows that German electronic music has a lot more to offer than just the harsh four-to-the-floor it was so long (in)famous for." (Jockey Slut, UK)
Michael’s activities opened up a wide range of new prospects and interactions. The link to the Berlin based Jazzanova crew followed as a logical and natural step. Michael: "All the Compost artists know each other. It‘s like a family! We know each other mostly from talking about music a lot, changing rare records, visiting second hand shops, and of course from DJing throughout the years.”
Encouraged by the growing success of Compost, the House-oriented subsidiary Compose Records, with acts like DJ Linus, raised up and developed to an in-demand and well-respected German house label. Finally JCR (Jazzanova-Compost Records), a co-operation between the DJ- and producer team Jazzanova from Berlin and Compost Records, joined the other two and completed the trio. They have surely taken influences and received a fantastic reputation from all around the globe!
Straight No Chaser wrote: "Swap the Themse for the Isar and Michael Reinboth is your James Lavelle or Gilles Peterson
. Drum n’ Bass, Trip Hop and Jazz are finally taking hold in Germany, due in no small measure to the tireless efforts of Compost...”.
(For more press clips and information, see label or artist biographies!)
since 1994 own radio-show on Jazzwelle Plus / Radio Feierwerk in Munich calling "Into Somethin'"-Radio Show , every Sunday, 22°°-24°°
- artist management
- music-adviser for film, radio, television and advertisement-agencies
- the conception, organisation, co-ordination and design of the world’s first and extended sized "Cover-Art & Record Design” exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art (House Of Art) in Munich 1995.
- music for fashion shows all around the globe
- film-music score for several cinema- and TV-films and documentations
- Moon Machine on Compose"
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