Review: 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.
Review: Listening back to this collection of remixes from UK producer Dave Taylor aka Switch, one is reminded of how different electronic music sounded during the mid-noughties. The bleepy bassline, chopped-up vocals and lo-fi sample aesthetic belongs to a different era, yet there is still something endearing about Switch's approach. On his version of Ben Westbeech's "Dance With Me", this manifests itself through a grimy acid line, boisterous vocals and a shuffling groove that sounds like an early incarnation of the UK bass/techno groove. Switch's interpretations of The Futureheads and Spank Rock (one of the era's genuine classics) are even more radical, with his take on the former's "Worry About It Later" containing merely a stuttering vocal and looped guitar riff from the original, and on the latter's "Bump", he moves from filtered disco stabs into a carnal ghetto house narrartive.