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Peggy Gou DJ-Kicks out now

When Peggy Gou released her debut EP ‘Art of War’ in 2016, she made a list of career goals. One of them was to become the first South Korean DJ to play Berlin’s techno institution Berghain, an objective she achieved only a few months later. Another item on that list was to record an instalment of the DJ-Kicks series. “It’s the premier class of DJ mixes,” she says. “Some of my favourite selectors have contributed to it.” Now Peggy Gou can tick that off her list too as she proudly presents the 69th edition of the mix series. Order the mix here. 

 The Berliner-by-choice started working on the mix last year. It was a busy time for the 28-year-old: she’d just scored her first Mixmag cover and her single ‘It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)’ was receiving awards and critical acclaim. Each month she would DJ in 20 nightclubs all over the world. And yet, the goal for her mix was ambitious: instead of trying to capture the energy of her DJ sets, she aimed to create a portrayal of her own musical journey. An 18-track listening session that takes you straight into Peggy Gou’s living room where she plays you the formative tunes from her collection. No genre boundaries – she moves across disco, house, techno and electro. No tempo limits – the mix ranges from 90 to 150 BPM. And no age restriction – the earliest tunes on the mix are from 1983.  

The same level of attention was brought to the arresting cover artwork, in which the well-documented animal lover references both Korean iconography and the endangered status of the creature of the country’s foundational mythology, the tiger: 

“I had the concept of this cover in my mind for a long time – as the first Korean woman to contribute to the DJ-Kicks series I wanted to do something from my heritage, so I chose the tiger, which is very important in Korean traditions and a metaphor for my personality,” says Peggy.  ”As it is not humane to shoot with a real tiger, I and the photographer Jonas Lindstroem used a library image to make a composite. The tiger ‘disappears’ when you turn to the inside-cover photo, to highlight that these beautiful animals are already extinct in my home country and in danger of disappearing from our world entirely”. 

The journey through her record shelves kicks off with ‘Fluresence’, the 1993 classic by British ambient stalwart Spacetime Continuum, before Peggy throws in the first of the mix’s three exclusives, ‘Hungboo’. “It’s the first track I ever made,” she says of the mellow tune that features birdsong, muffled koto chords, phrase singing and heavy dub bass. Considering its long gestation – she started working on it in London and finished it in Berlin – the tune is an impressive testament to her growth as an artist and how she has strived to find her own musical voice.  

Further down the track list you find tunes by her biggest influences such as Aphex Twin (‘Drukqs’ standout ‘Vordhosbn’) and Andrew Weatherall (his 1990 remix of Sly and Lovechild’s ‘The World According To Sly and Lovechild’), as well as tracks by rising artists such as Deniro or JRMS. The latter’s contribution is a secret weapon from Peggy’s recent DJ sets which will eventually see full release through her brand new imprint Gudu Records.  

The other exclusives come from Milanese duo Hiver, who deliver the hypnotically pulsating banger (‘Pert’), and Parisian house auteur I:Cube, who shared a hard-drive of unreleased tunes with Peggy when he remixed ‘It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)’. “After he allowed me to use a track for my mix, he lost all the files”, she says. “I had to send him back his own track and he renamed it from ‘Unreleased’ to ‘Cassette Jam 1993’.”  

With I:Cube’s hazy, sample-laden house track fading out, Peggy Gou takes the needle off the record and the 73-minute listening session comes to an end. A listening session that highlights her distinct taste and deep interest in music and shows that her journey has just begun. An exclusive !K7 Records product including liticular post card, Peggy Gou polaroid poster and the vinyl are available on the !K7 webstore and Bandcampread more...

Laurel Halo – DJ-Kicks

The 68th edition of the DJ-kicks mix series is another landmark one, with experimental producer Laurel Halo taking the reins. The American’s adventurous 29 track trip features seven exclusives, including two of her own plus those from Rrose, Machinewoman, FIT Siegel, Nick León and Ikonika.

An electronic outlier, Halo hails from Ann Arbor, Michigan, but has been based in Berlin for a number of years. Landing on labels like Hyperdub, Honest Jon’s and Latency, Halo has released a body of work ranging in style, yet cohered by production and compositional tendencies that sound distinctly her own. Her studio work tends to be a multi-layered mix of the electronic and the acoustic, the organic and the synthetic. As a DJ, meanwhile, she lays down more floor-focussed mixes of techno, bass and worldly drum rhythms, and her live sets are similarly visceral and direct.

Halo’s DJ-kicks packs a lot in to just 60 minutes. It kicks off with the first of two of her own exclusives, ‘Public Art’, a tactile piano loop that sets the melodic tone of the mix in focus. Crunchy drums soon take over and begin what is a blistering ride through electro, trippy minimalism and textures that range from icy and dubby to steel plated and sharp from the likes of Red Axes, Parris and an exclusive from Rrose.

Another exclusive, rough and ready techno cut from Machinewoman follows, before the mid section twists and turns on surging drum patterns, frantic industrial textures and spaced out gqom sounds from the likes of Griffit Vigo, Dario Zenker and Final Cut. This is a mix forever on the move: one minute its tightly coiled and kinetic, the next it’s loose and joyful before switching into more cerebral and insular passages that keep you intrigued.

Fusing together so many disparate sounds and textures is no mean feat, but like everything Halo does, here they all add up to something as thrilling and edgy as it is unpredictable and compelling. Out now on all formats.

TOUR DATES

22/03 – La Cheetah, Glasgow, UK
23/03 – Soup Kitchen, Manchester, UK
28/03 – Berghain Säule, Berlin, DE
30/03 – Rewire Festival, The Hague, NL
05/04 – Concrete, Paris, FR
06/04 – Mirage Festival, Lyon, FR
12/04 – De School, Amsterdam, NL
13/04 – Culture Box, Copenhagen, DK
19/04 – Griessmühle, Berlin, DE
21/04 – Golden Pudel Club, Hamburg, DE
25/04 – The Love Inn, Bristol, UK
26/04 – Siroco, Madrid, ES
27/04 – Nitsa, Barcelona, ES
30/04 – Bozar Night, Brussels, BE
03/05 – Kauplus Aasia, Tallinn, EN
04/05 – Ääniwalli, Helsinki, FI
31/05 – Primavera Sound, Barcelona, ES

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Leon Vynehall DJ-Kicks Out Now

First to take the reins of DJ-Kicks in 2019 for the 67th mix, will be ever-evolving UK artist, Leon Vynehall.

His 26-track mix moves across genres and tempo, from 79bpm ambient to 169bpm jungle, featuring new material from Vynehall, plus a number of digitally exclusive tracks.

It’s out now on CD, LP and all digital formats. 

 … read more...

Robert Hood DJ-Kicks Out Now

Detroit’s pioneering techno giant Robert Hood is next to take the reins of the DJ-Kicks mix series. His timeless 22 track offering includes four of his own new exclusives, and will come on CD as well as with a 2 x 12” vinyl sampler in winter 2018.

It’s hard to talk about techno without Robert Hood. The Motor City mainstay was a founding member of the pivotal Underground Resistance with Mad Mike Banks and Jeff Mills, and then went on to lay down a blueprint for minimal techno which continues to make an impact to this day. As Floorplan, of course, he veers into more funky and melodic house and techno, often with a gospel overtone that lead to rapturous receptions on dance floors around the world.

But the techno he makes as Robert Hood is what he is best known for. It has come on his own M Plant label, as well as vital outlets like Tresor, Peacefrog and Dekmantel, where 2017’s Paradygm Shift album proved that, 25 years after first starting out, he is still a force unto himself. The record was a return to the roots of his definitive Minimal Nation LP in 1994, and was filled with the sort of expert melodic loops, scintillating drums and hypnotic sense of repetition that only a few can master: making such simple yet effective music is a skill that Hood has made all his own.

His DJ-Kicks mix proves that once more: it is a techno mix, pure and simple. It exudes the trademark machine warmth and muscular sense of groove that makes Hood’s style so infectious. Most tracks are from the last few years and come from a range of mainly European producers, but the result is pure Robert Hood.

The perennial futurist wastes no time in getting down to business: after a brief buzzing synth line sounds like a spacecraft warming up for take off, the rubbery, relentless drums arrive and remain rooted to the floor for seventy minutes. Despite his famously linear approach, the tension between tracks, suspenseful breakdowns and sci-fi sense of melody throughout keeps you engaged: there is just enough light in the dark, sufficient colour between the shadows and constant sense of pressure to keep you utterly engaged from start to finish.

Robert Hood is synonymous with techno, and his entry into the DJ-Kicks series shows exactly why. Coming 16th November on CD, 2LP and digital. Out now. read more...

Mount Kimbie ‘DJ-Kicks’ Out Now

Mount Kimbie take the reigns of the DJ-kicks series with a 23 track mix that includes one of their own new exclusives. It’s a snapshot of exactly what the UK duo sound like in the club right now and is accompanied by a DJ-kicks tour that takes the pair to DJ and live dates all round the world.

2018 marks a decade since Kai Campos and Dominic Maker first hooked up and started making music. In the early years they refashioned dubstep into innovative new forms that drew on ambient, garage and electronica. Their DJ and radio sets have also developed a formidable reputation throughout this period. They have offered a glimpse into the duo’s varied influences and avant-garde tastes from across all forms of electronic music.

This is a mix inspired by a mini-run of DJ gigs that Mount Kimbie played with Actress. “It was an interesting and challenging experience, and I learnt a lot on the six dates we did,” says Kai, who explains that plenty of the tracks he was playing during those gigs make it into the mix. They make it a forward looking affair that calls on music the band have discovered recently; music they have found inspiring. Their own ‘DJ-kicks’ track was made specially for the mix and was initially influenced by Stanislav Tolkachev and Alexis Perala, who are both also included. Rather than a painstaking plan or meticulous studio approach, this session captures the improvised energy of a real DJ mix, but one where each track is given time to breath and make an impact rather than one where DJ trickery is at the fore.

The result is a succinct 50 minutes that often goes deep, with roughhewn drums and grainy atmospheres from the likes of Terrence Dixon, Severed Heads, Marco Bernardi and Object Blue. It perfectly knits together stripped back rhythms, percussive tracks and more harmonic techno while seamlessly joining the dots between the old and the new. It’s a well balanced mix that stays low and heady, and that sense of focussed tension is what makes it so utterly compelling throughout.

This DJ-kicks is a welcome window into the very current musical world of Mount Kimbie. It’s out now on 2LP, CD and digital.read more...

DJ Seinfeld DJ-Kicks Out Now

!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...

Forest Swords DJ-Kicks out now

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...

Choose Me EP by Deetron feat. Steve Spacek

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...

Deetron DJ-Kicks Out Now

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...

Kerri Chandler DJ-Kicks Out Now

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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