With his much anticipated DJ-Kicks mix due to drop next Friday, the man at its helm, London-based producer and DJ Daniel Avery, has today premiered the third and final of his original productions for the release in the form of the slow-burning, searing ‘A Mechanical Sky’. This follows ambient first taste ‘Space Echo’, accompanied by a striking animated visual from Kevin A. Freeney, and Avery’s collaboration with BleeD boss Volte-Face as Rote with ‘Look In Your Eyes’.
First teased in his Dekmantel set this August in front of a rapturous audience both at the festival and online via a live Boiler Room broadcast, ‘A Mechanical Sky’ comes in close to the album’s end point, segueing into the propulsive, shimmering techno of Edit-Select’s remix of ‘Cirklon Bells’ by Glaswegian duo Slam (aka Stuart McMillan and Orde Meikle), before ‘Space Echo’ slows down the orbit, bringing proceedings to a close in a warm soundscape of disembodied, crystalline atmospherics.
Speaking about ‘A Mechanical Sky,’ Avery commented, "A club track made exclusively for the mix. It feels good to be back in the studio and making music again. Some finish lines are appearing on the horizon.”
The exclusive Actress track "Bird Matrix," from the UK producer's 2015 DJ-Kicks mix, has been remixed for the latest in the DJ-Kicks remix series. The single includes both a "Club" and "Dub" remix from West Coast stalwart Kid606. Simbiosi, signed to Actress' own Werk Discs label, also provides a take on the track. Filling out the release is the full album mix of another DJ-Kicks exclusive track, "Pear," from Werk Discs affiliate GNESIS. Actress' DJ-Kicks EP will be released on October 30th 2015.
The DJ-Kicks series was born in Berlin in 1995, the first officially licensed DJ mix series available commercially. Over the past 20 years, the series has maintained a steady finger on the pulse of electronic music, earning a reputation as an essential barometer for what’s happening right now in the world of dance music. To celebrate the 50th entry in the series, we’ve brought the series back to Germany with a very special mix from the iconoclastic DJ Koze.
Characteristically refusing to hew to any particular genre or style, Koze’s mix nonetheless creates a uniform color, incorporating underground hip-hop, melodic techno, indie pop, and vintage songwriting for a selection of tracks that is at once nostalgic and futuristic, melancholy and joyful.
In order to incorporate a variety of styles, Koze created a number of custom edits and blends for the set. He also takes a novel approach to the concept of a “mix,” often eschewing long overlays in favor of serendipitous juxtapositions. “During the day I don’t have the requirement of hearing anything mixed in strict time,” he says. “Instead I focus on harmoniousness. The idea is more to create the appearance of a radio show, in the vein of John Peel for example. There is a giant cosmos of music running through my filter.”
DJ-Kicks also includes a new DJ Koze original, in the form of the dilla-esque “I Have Not Been Everywhere But It’s On My List.” With its fragile soul samples, pinched, anxious-expressive vocal snippets, and sweet guitar riffs, the track sets a luxurious tone for the mix. The mood is gentle, laid back, extremely open and willingly to take risks.
Buoyed but the the huge success of his international hit "Jack," Breach (a/k/a Ben Westbeech) is a bona fide star in the dance music world. Even so, he approached his DJ-Kicks mix with intelligence and humility. As he says in our interview special below, he aimed to include the music that was most important to him, in order to show his growing audience where his roots lie, and where his head is at.
Breach's wonderful DJ-Kicks mix is out now: iTunes • Amazon • !K7 store
Over the course of nearly two decades of DJ-Kicks, we're always hearing which entries in the series stand out as favorites. And surprisingly, we get a wide variety of answers. From the sleek techno of the series' beginning (C.J. Bolland, Carl Craig) to the smoked-out sounds of late-90s mixes from Nightmares on Wax and Kid Loco, to recent mixes from rising stars like Maya Jane Coles and Motor City Drum Ensemble, everyone seems to have a few favorites that sit on the top of the heap.
With new entries on the way from John Talabot and Breach, we thought we'd put the vote to you, and offer the top five DJ-Kicks as chosen by the fans for a special price on the !K7 store. The rules are simple: vote on up to five choices below*, and we'll offer the winning five mixes at an unbeatable discount of 40% off in the !K7 store. Voting ends Thursday October 17th, and we'll announce the results in the following week's newsletter (which, by the way, you can sign up for here).
* select titles are out of stock, and not included on the poll
Scoring a top 10 hit (as Breach has this summer with "Jack") is a dream come true for most musicians. It also must be a little bit strange though, especially for an artist with the history and depth that Breach (a/k/a Ben Westbeech) has. In fact, the Breech project was originally conceived as an underground counterpart to the Westbeech's work under his given name. “The thing is not to lose sight of why you started making music in the first place," he says. "I wasn’t trying to get in the Top Ten. I just care about making deep records that I get off on.”
It's those same "deep records" that are showcased on Breach's new DJ-Kicks mix; which deftly incorporates everything from €2 basement finds (in the form of Winx - "How's The Music") to spanking new tracks from some of Westbeech's contemporaries, and of course, a new original Breach track made specifically for the mix. “I’ve grown up with DJ Kicks," Westbeech says. "For me it’s a very important series and I didn’t want to throw it together at a time when I’ve never been as busy. It came at a pretty crazy point in my life, but I feel I’ve done myself justice with it.”
Breach - DJ-Kicks is out November 11th (12th in the US). Full tracklist and tour dates after the jump.
One of Maceo Plex's stated goal with his DJ-Kicks mix was to take a forward-looking approach to the music and selection, rather than getting mired in retro-ism. That emphasis on the future seems to have extended to this video interview, which sees the DJ / producer speaking about his contribution to the DJ-Kicks series amidst some incredible 3D visuals from The Butchers.
Maceo Plex's DJ-Kicks is out this week. Grab a free track, see tour dates, and order the album at http://www.dj-kicks.com/maceoplex
What more can we say, the girl's on fire! Having already placed highly with DJ-Kicks on year-end charts from NPR, Resident Advisor, Spin, Mixmag, LFTF & more, we've just learned that Maya Jane Coles' DJ-Kicks exclusive track "Not Listening" has taken "Best Underground Dance Track of 2012" at this year's WMC. We couldn't be happier! Congratulations Maya, and shout-out to all the DJs, editors, writers and fans who have supported her music.
With 2012 ranking as one of the most fertile years so far in DJ-Kicks history, we're eager to get started with what is already looking like another packed year for the series. We're pleased to announce that Maceo Plex is taking the reins for a fantastic mix, due at the end of April.
Maceo's mix aims to highlight the sounds that he believes represent the future of electronic music. To do so, he's dug deep in his vinyl collection for an impeccable selection of tracks with a timeless sound, spanning the last 20 years of dance music, none of which are currently available digitally outside of the DJ-Kicks mix. Many of the tracks appear as exclusive edits by Maceo himself, adding to the overall freshness of the mix.
DJ-Kicks will be released April 29th (April 30th in the US) on CD, 2xLP (w/ CD included), and digital download. For full release info (and audio coming soon), keep an eye on http://www.dj-kicks.com/maceoplex.
1. Monsters From ID / Spatial Lobe
2. Voice Stealer / Evaluation
3. Stingray313 / Defect
4. Mathias Schaffhäuser / Nice To Meet You (Maceo Plex Remix)
5. TV Baby / New York Is Alright (Black Spun Minimal Dub)
6. Maceo Plex & Mark O'Sullivan / When It All Comes To This
7. Lab Insect aka Nomenklatür / Oh Happy Day (Maceo Plex Edit)
8. Kimbu Kimra / Raise The Dead (Love From San Francisco Dub)
9. Mattski / Escapism (Maceo Plex Conversation Remix)
10. Eric Volta / Rez-Shifter (Maceo Plex Remix)
11. Visnadi / Racing Tracks (Indianapolis Drive Mix / Maceo Plex Edit)
12. Maceo Plex / Galactic Cinema (DJ-Kicks)
13. Move D / Sandmann (Maetrik Treatment)
14. Zeta Reticula & Freaks / Creep (Maetrik Fusion Edit)
15. Jaydee / Payback (Maceo Plex Remix)
16. S.A.M. / Nangijala (Maceo Plex Reggae Edit)
17. Turner / Multiorgel (Schneider TM Mix)
18. Maceo Plex / Mind On Fire
As a part of the ongoing celebration of 27 years of !K7 Records, today sees the launch of 27!K7 Exclusives, a four week series of exclusive music from !K7's artists and recent DJ-Kicks contributors. Every Tuesday through October 16th, a new double-sided EP will be posted for free download at http://www.k7-27.com/tracks. Starting things off today is a new track from Motor City Drum Ensemble, backed with a cover of a Danish pop hit from When Saints Go Machine. Check back Tuesday Nov. 2nd for another pair of tracks, and thanks for 27 great years!