There's a couple of highly amusing quotes in the comments section of the Resident Advisor record label site, posted following the news that German modern classical composer Gregor Schwellenbach has chosen to celebrate 20 years of the seminal Cologne-based dance music titans Kompakt by re-imagining some of the label's best moments in his own chosen musical style. The user 'narmst12' writes: "I'm sorry but dance 'music' is not musically rich enough to be compatible with classical, chances are this will be mawkish and boring," whilst 'southernoutpost' thinks it's a big old waste of time: "Maybe rather having trained musicians playing extremely repetitive music, a waste of their skills, why not have the electronic musicians try and write a piece of music specifically for the orchestra?" Yep, god forbid anyone should ever have a go at reinterpreting music in a different genre, never mind the fact that alongside classic pop it's minimalist classical music that probably inspired or spawned the stripped-down dance sound that quickly became Kompakt's trademark. Thankfully, Schwellenbach isn't so fussed by the lunatics that spend their days down in the depths of the comments section and as a result we have Gregor Schwellenbach Spielt 20 Jahre Kompakt, a record that takes classics from the likes of label head honcho Michael Mayer, Voigt & Voigt and Jurgen Paape and replaces the electronic experience with piano, strings, flute and harp, each played by veterans of their respective instruments. Okay, so it's not always a success but what we do have is a fresh take on very familiar music that's often engaging and moving, and always played with sumptuous verve.

The opening track, a take on Paape's 'Triumph', is probably one of the best examples of when Schwellenbach's chamber music take on techno work best; it's the driving house piano - reminiscent of the riff on Underworld's 'Push Upstairs' - that's key to that track, with Schwellenbach, a multi-instrumentalist, hammering away at the keys so much that the piano itself becomes the percussion for the track, while what sounds like violin strings are plucked to replicated the sharper synth sounds. This rolls into 'Was Ist Musik' (Justus Köhncke) which is a thrilling string quartet take on the original's swirling, pulsating dancefloor triumphalism, and once the downbeat piano version of Closer Musik's 'Maria' takes over (it's a seamless transition throughout, like a proper classical music experience) you're prepared for something quite special. It's the way in which the original's sparkling electronic jitters are transformed into an atmospheric dirge that you might only have experienced in a Parisian conservatoire at the turn of the century that seem to mark out Schwellenbach as a truly gifted composer.

It's unfortunate, then, that the pieces which focus on woodwind are often the ones that don't work so well; a prime example is the re-working of Ulf Lohmann's 'Because' featuring the work of flautist Dorothee Oberlinger, which suffers from sounding terribly hollow, or if I'm being unkind, like a child's recorder practice, and when Michael Mayer's 'Speaker' gets the same treatment it's a really disappointing version of a true techno classic. There are some other disappointing moments which you might expect over the course of twenty pieces of music, but what stays with you are the lovely moments: Jane Berthe’s beautiful harp work on Triola's 'AG Penthouse' and Jonas Bering's 'Melanie', the tearful piano-led minor key double whammy of Voigt & Voigt's 'Vision 03' and Closer Musik's 'Departures' are Erik Satie-esque in their beauty and then the closing version of Superpitcher's 'Tomorrow' is epic and foreboding, yet flighty thanks to the classical guitar flourishes of Christian Buck.

In the end, Schwellenbach's re-workings is something of a qualified success; it's unlikely to be a record youll return to again and again, and of course the originals probably still have the edge, but to hear techno classics reinterpreted – often wonderfully - through analogue instruments is something you should take the time to listen to and you never know, it might just open up some new musical possibilities for you.