The 50th DJ-Kicks was released last year, and was a spell-binding compilation of new discoveries by none other than DJ Koze. This however, is the smoothest and sassiest of them all, courtesy of Moodymann, and featuring better-known tracks. The DJ-Kicks series prides itself on its collaborations with some of the biggest and best musicians of the time (previous years feature mixes by Seth Troxler, John Talabot and Motor City Drum Ensemble) and this is no different. The series gives a real insight into the influences and interests of the artists that mix them, and invariably have the slickest transitions of some of the biggest tunes.
Moodymann reinstates a hip-hop vibe to DJ-Kicks, boasting mixes from the likes of Jai Paul, Nightmares on Wax and Flying Lotus. Cheeky snippets from each track (none much more than 3 minutes in length) maintain the ebb and flow of the album, though a few corners were cut in some song transitions with a simple fade-in, fade-out. Easily the climax is the move from BTSTU by Jai Paul to Tea Leaf Dancers by Flying Lotus, feature vocals from Andreya Triana – tunes that you might never put in the company of each other, meticulously morphed together. As with all the DJ-Kicks series, the albums should be played as intended and act as a complementary soundtrack for a fragile mind as minimal concentration for maximum enjoyment is required.
Perhaps a slightly rogue track on the compilation is Our Darkness by Anne Clark – a jazzy mix of the original, with a piano riff and lumbering spoken word, obviously taken from a live show. It just doesn’t quite sit comfortably with the coolness of the remainder of the album. The finale comes in the form of a mix a gentle techno track from Daniela La Luz. Overall, this is a pleasing addition to the DJ-Kicks family, with a much more diverse display of genres, but less masterful mixing.