Having traded as “Hairy Hands” on his debut album ‘Magic,’ James has now taken off his metaphorical mask to create under his own name. His new songs draw back the curtain and begin to encompass the real world into his distinctive vocals. Sometimes oblique, sometimes explicit; the songs’ lyrics permit the listener license to draw their own interpretations as to their meaning. With a sentiment of universality to the record, it’s grounded in primal emotion, a simpler way of life and living it.
“Humans don’t seem to be doing a great job of running the world at the moment so I looked at the natural world for inspiration, particularly through David Attenborough’s documentaries. Maybe the next record will deal more directly with human relations.”
Created almost entirely by himself, James took the tracks, editing and removing parts and rearranging them in the MPC or SP404, adding textural effects via cassette deck, effects pedals or Kaoss pad. He gets by with a little help from friends: Leo Wyatt (KINDER) and Ben Rowley sent bass lines over the Internet and Charlie Carroll recorded saxophone in a large kitchen to get a moody, shimmering brass sound.
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!K7 announce new DJ-Kicks curated by DJ Seinfeld The next installment of the series is set for release on CD, LP and digital on 13 July The first chapter of Armand Jakobsson’s musical career has been nothing short of remarkable. After establishing himself with rough but emotive house as Rimbaudian and jungle as Birds of Sweden, he unveiled his DJ Seinfeld alias to the world, first with underground hit single ‘U’, then with his Time Spent Away From U album on Lobster Fury in November 2017. It was a post break-up love letter to the dance floor with heart-on-sleeve emotions coloring the dusty and analogue house grooves. Acclaim came in from far and wide, with everyone from Rolling Stone to Pitchfork fawning over its heart swelling nostalgia and melancholic immediacy.
Since then, Jakobsson feels “everything around me changed beyond recognition, people and places I relied on for stability and comfort were no longer the same,” and so it has been a time in which he has had to find himself once again. Musically that means diversifying, and as such the Swede has veered into jungle, breaks and electro, as well as plenty of rough edged house, and continues to serve up electrifying DJ sets across the world.
Jakobsson approached his DJ-kicks with the intention of representing all the things that made him fall in love with dance music more than a decade ago, as well as showing some of the progression that has occurred in that time and “reflecting the simultaneous fear of leaving something safe behind as well as the excitement of venturing into unknown territories, musically and emotionally.” In order to make it as personal as possible, he called upon the many talented people around him making music. They returned with an enthusiasm that reminded Jakobsson of his own early passion, and in turn invigorated him and the whole process of assembling the mix.
DJ Seinfeld’s DJ-kicks is not only a testament of his characterful DJ skills, but also a complete artistic statement that showcases his unique vision of dance music.
The full album is out now, Click Here to listen!… read more...
Following acclaimed albums on Ninja Tune and Tri Angle, soundtrack and installation work, and remixes of the likes of Bjork, Forest Swords has curated a 27-track compilation that draws a line between past inspirations and his current peers.
“My favourite nights when I was younger, there wasn’t really a focus on etiquette; sticking to genres, perfect transitions – it was all pretty DIY, like having someone cook up their personal mixtape in front of you, just to share music between people” says Barnes. “John Peel’s eclectic radio show made a huge impact on me growing up, so that kind of personal, instinctive approach to selecting tracks always felt more exciting than something that was sterile and seamless. I wanted to carry some of that spirit into this compilation.”
Like much of his own output, Forest Swords’ DJ-Kicks dances around pristine electronics to embrace more organic textures: 80s post punk (Anna Domino, Dead Can Dance), classic 90s British electronica (Orbital, Mira Calix, Disjecta), and smokey digi-dub (Rhythm & Sound), all rub up alongside some of the most forward-facing producers working today (Demdike Stare, Laurel Halo) and avant garde explorers (David Toop, Kara-Lis Coverdale).
The compilation shifts through rhythms and emotions: from pop icon Neneh Cherry’s primal thudding to the zombified throb of exclusive Forest Swords track ‘Crow’, via Deena Abdelwaheed’s clattering deconstructions and the outdoor mountain singing of Ánde Somby. Drawing threads between decades, borders and genres, DJ-Kicks is a collection of tracks that feels as restlessly curious, and crucial, as Barnes’ own work.
The album artwork was designed by Forest Swords himself. It’s out now on 2LP, CD and digital formats. … read more...
Following from Deetron’s entry in to the DJ-Kicks mix series, !K7 are now serving up one of the original singles from it. Produced by the Swiss artist and featuring soul futurist Steve Spacek, it comes with the original and three vital versions.
Entitled ‘Choose Me’, the single is six minutes of musical electronic soul. On the Jupiter Version, the drums are more loose and broken up, lending a spaced out vibe that will be perfect on outdoor terraces as the weather warms up. Jumbled percussion tumbles next to the chords as the vocal soars. A Jupiter Instrumental closes out this cosmic and cultured house EP.
Out now on vinyl and digital formats.… read more...
The latest DJ-Kicks comes from Swiss DJ and producer Deetron and features an exclusive solo track as well as exclusive collaborations with Steve Spacek, Jinadu and Jamie Lidell, alongside two unreleased tracks from DJ Bone. As one of the most famous musical exports from his Swiss homeland, he has pretty much done it all from fabric and Balance mix CDs to running his own label, from essential albums like Twisted and Music Over Matter on Music Man Records to a genre-spanning body of remix work as recently showcased on Re-Creation – Remixes Compiled.
This landmark mix shows off his timeless style and passion for the nostalgic emotions associated with Chicago and the serene machine soul of Detroit. Selected from records that have resonated with him over the years and that continue to conjure strong feelings, it also features various vocals from friends “in the style of a traditional mixtape,” explains the artist.
“Over the years I have worked on bringing techno and soulful vocals together and I wanted to represent that in the mix. On the technical side of things, the mix represents my work as a producer and remixer as well as my aim to recreate tracks using three decks when deejaying. A large part of the mix was recorded using three decks but I also included a section which I approached more like a production or remix.”
Deetron DJ-Kicks is out now and available on CD, 2LP and digital formats. … read more...
Love, Respect and Admiration is well-known as Kerri’s sign-off on messages to his fans, and this album is born of that spirit. His instantly classic and timeless DJ-Kicks mix, takes him out of the club and through a world of influences and inspirations. “It’s like me taking you for a walk in New York,” he says. “Like a music tour guide, we go through Brooklyn, Soho, midtown, the Bronx and Uptown, and parts of New Jersey.” It’s out now.
The resulting selection is an unhurried and very personal mixtape with blends, fades and cuts all allowing the music to do the talking. At various points throughout, Kerri speaks into the mic, adding to the feeling that you’re sat in his living room as he pulls out all his favourite cuts. He also lays down some of his magical keys at various points, lending yet more personality to the mix.
There’s everything from jazz to soul, downtempo house to hip hop, reggae to funk, and together they expose the very heart of Kerri’s musical world. It’s one that is warm and intimate, and filled with the same feelings and musicality that have kept him at house music’s vanguard for the past three decades.
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Ten years after his first release, UK artist Lone’s entry into the DJ-Kicks series features four of his own new and exclusive tracks. It’s out now.
This mix represents Lone as a producer: it starts out with the hip hop of his roots, then moves through some of the music of his childhood and on to a range of his enduring influences. Along the way, he stitches in his own newly produced sounds. “ I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone with this,” : he says. “ I’ m so used to programming my own material on my own albums, that’ s sort of how I approached this one.” Purposefully mixed in “ a loose, rough way” in his living room on a pair of CDJs, the idea was to make listeners feel like there were in there with him. It’ s designed for dreamy late night listening, or intimate headphone sessions, and “plays out a bit like a weird midnight radio show: it’ s purposefully all over the place, dreamy and trippy, so you can zone in and out.”
Lone’ s DJ-kicks very much feels alive, lived-in and authentic. It is a personal view into his unique musical world. Out now on CD, Vinyl and digital formats.
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Next up on DJ-Kicks is Life And Death label founder DJ Tennis. And he’s been granted not one but two discs to showcase his eclectic yet coherent selection. The mix comes as a double CD and triple vinyl release featuring 4 exclusive tracks. Available now.
DJ Tennis is Manfredi Romano, a lifelong music fanatic who started out managing punk bands, progressed to putting on leftfield events, set up one of the most important Italian rock and electronic booking agencies, then started the Life And Death label. Since then Life and Death has launched acts like Tale of Us, Mind against and Vaal. Tennis’s own recorded output is selective and stylish, often featuring real melodies and a musicality that can be lacking in dance music. That knack for the musical and emotive side of things characterises both cerebral mixes he has put together here.
The mix includes brand new original from DJ Tennis featuring Fink called ‘Certain Angels,’ plus new Tennis versions of tunes by Pole and Frank Brettschneider, and finally an unreleased track, ‘Paratrooper,’ from acclaimed Tel Aviv duo Red Axes. All in all it’s a thoughtfully composed mix that’s subversive yet seductive in equal measure.… read more...
We’ve just released a compilation of unmixed DJ-Kicks exclusive tracks from the past few years of the series, available now digitally and on CD here. The tracklist features highlights from the likes of DJ Koze, Matthew Dear, Marcel Dettmann, John Talabot and many more.
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