Kompakt is a German electronica label which I think is mainly oriented toward the types of music that those of us who aren't into them lump together as "techno." EDM, for "electronic dance music," is the preferred term, I think. Whatever you call it there are actually quite a number of sub-genres; see this Wikipedia article if you want to know more, and note that it includes links to information on sub-sub-genres. Do you know the difference between house and trance? I don't, even though I once read a few paragraphs of a music producer complaining, and illustrating his complaint with technical observations, that trance is boring in comparison to...I don't remember now, some other variety of EDM. But it was amusing because he spoke as if the two were as different as peanut butter and jelly.
Kompakt also produces some ambient electronica, which at first struck me as odd, since ambient music is typically tranquil, and the polar opposite of the frenetic hard-driving beat of dance music. But it actually makes sense. I think (I have no personal experience!) ambient music has some kind of place in the dance club world as a respite from the pounding music, reportedly played at industrial volume levels. A few years ago there was a controversy about a techno club in downtown Mobile. Although that area is described as an "entertainment district," there are also some apartments and condominiums, and if I remember correctly some of the residents got it shut down because of the very loud music. This was notable because there same area contains half a dozen or so clubs where rock bands play every weekend.
Anyway, since 2001 Kompakt has issued an annual anthology called Pop Ambient. Back when eMusic.com was the principal way I heard about and purchased (old-fashioned notion!) new music, I acquired a number of these: 2002 through 2016, to be exact. Every one is excellent, if you like this sort of thing. It's very static--there's no forward movement, as in normal music. It's all repetition and addition and slight variation. I was thinking about how to describe it and remembered Rob G's description of a trance (I think it's trance) track in one of the 52 Albums posts.
the musical development all happens vertically above the basic axis and not along it, so to speak. Sounds, instruments, and voices are added and subtracted in such a way as to propel the song to the next one, rather than to bring closure.
That's really pretty accurate for Kompakt's ambient music, too. I haven't attempted to analyze any of this music in the way that Rob does, but it wouldn't surprise me if they aren't constructed with similar consistency (as opposed to the loose, drifting nature of much ambient).
Here's a track from the 2002 edition, the earliest one I have. Triola is the name of the artist, "Ag Penthouse" the title of the track (I don't know what the "Ag" means).
And here's one from 2020, "Urquell" by Thore Pfeiffer:
Without some indication one--well, at least most ones--would not be able to tell any basic stylistic difference over the 20-year interval. Which is a little bit amusing, since EDM seems to be a very trendy scene. At least a couple of the artists from the 2001 edition also appear on 2021.
The graphics accompanying those tracks are the album covers. Every edition features a photograph of flowers somewhat like these, and that's very appropriate: I think of these pieces as being like pictures. The experience of listening to them is more similar to the experience of looking at a painting than is the narrative sort of movement that most music provides. Moreover, the flowers are a good visual analog of most of the pieces: gentle, delicate, graceful, beautifully colored. Also fitting is the fact that twenty such pictures are all obviously very different from each other and yet obviously very similar.
While looking for the post-2016 (post-eMusic) releases in this series, I discovered that Kompakt also puts out an annual anthology of their dance music. I listened to one--not very closely, just let it play while I was doing miscellaneous little tasks around the house--and rather liked it. That series is called Total, with a two-digit year: Total 21 and so forth. I think it's been running at least as long as Pop Ambient.