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DJ Kicks - Exclusives

DJ Kicks, Exclusives

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

THE DJ Kicks series of CD releases has consistently delivered some kick-ass grooves from some of the top names on the circuit. Previous highlights have included sets from Daddy G of Massive Attack, Tiga and Nightmares on Wax.

To celebrate its 25th release, the series has rounded up 14 exclusive tracks that showcase the best in beat-based dance anthems, such as Kid Loco, Truby Trio and Kruder and Dorfmeister, as well as out and out dancefloor fillers from Carl Craig, Chicken Lips and The Glimmers.

The result is a pretty eclectic mixture of dance styles that impress and frustrate in equal measure, flitting between mainstream party-pleasers to more satisfying funk and chillout.

Highlights definitely include Kruder and Dorfmeister’s supremely dusky Black Baby, thanks to its laidback vibe and shuffling beats, and DJ Cam’s sedate Bronx Theme, which charts similarly cinematic quality to the likes of Bonobo and Blockhead. The beats perfectly compliment some sharp synth chords to lend the whole thing an upbeat jazzy feel.

Thievery Corporation’s drop-deal cool It Takes A Thief is another pleasant groover, which continues the hip early vibe surrounding the album, while there’s an interesting take on Hot In Herre by Tiga that actually works in spite of its obvious comparison.

Kid Loco’s Flyin’ on 747 epitomises the album and its most mellow and delicious, conjuring some really soothing beats to lend the track a dream-like quality that’s terrific for relaxing into.

It’s only when the album drifts into more mainstream dance styles and ups the vibe that it began to lose me. Vikter Duplaix’s Sensuality is much too slick for its own good, while there’s a sub-standard shot of 80s-based electronica in the hopelessly European Behind The Wheel, by Playgroup (Daft Punk it is not).

Chicken Lips’ Bad Skin is just a bland dance track, as soulless as anything on the mainstream circuit, while The Glimmers’ Cassette is simply sub-standard Chemical Brothers.

If you’ve been a fan of the DJ Kicks series thus far, this offers an interesting cross-section of the contemporary dance scene and should satisfy as much as it disappoints. When it’s good, it hits the spot in perfect fashion. Sadly, the rhythm just isn’t consistent.

Track listing:

  1. Black Baby – Kruder & Dorfmeister
  2. Bronx Theme – DJ Cam
  3. Contact – Terranova (2)
  4. It Takes A Thief – Thievery Corporation
  5. Flyin’ On 747 – Kid Loco
  6. High Jazz – Truby Trio
  7. Sensuality – Duplaix, Vikter
  8. Behind The Wheel – Playgroup (2)
  9. Hot In Herre – Tiga
  10. Bad Skin – Chicken Lips
  11. Black Keys Work – Oye, Erlend
  12. Cassette – Glimmers
  13. Wedding – Annie (1)
  14. DJ Kicks – Craig, Carl