Confusingly, this is actually the second full-length round up of exclusive tracks from the DJ Kicks mix series (the first, with the same title, was released in 2006). It gathers together notable exclusive tracks from some of the many DJs and producers who've contributed to the series in recent years. It makes for fascinating and enjoyable listening, flitting between sounds and styles at a breakneck pace. Highlights include jazz-flecked deep house from Motor City Drum Ensemble and Henrik Schwarz, dextrous dancefloor jazz from Four Tet, a Hall & Oates impersonation from Chromeo, booming bass music from Scuba and a dash of bleary-eyed New York disco from The Juan MacLean. Oh, and a decidedly bleep-heavy two-step rinse out from Photek & Kru. Check it.
Synth-bothering indie-popsters Friendly Fires are the latest contributors to the uniformly excellent Late Night Tales series, and they seem desperate to prove just how diverse their tastes are. Oh, and their underground credentials. So, we get fuzzy stoner disco (Renee), curious French electro-disco oddness (Space), shirts-off end of night goodness (the much-played but still ace "Like An Eagle" by Dennis Parker), krautrock-inspired indie pop (Stereolab, Cocteau Twins), classic US garage (Iron Galaxy), future anthems (SBTRKT), dream-pop (Junior Boys, Lauren Halo), folksy musings (Grouper), and even a dash of Olivia Newton-John (the decidedly Balearic "Love Song"). While a cynic may raise a surprised eyebrow at some of the selections, there's no denying their quality.