Published Nov 09, 2016It seems like almost every year is a big year for the venerable DJ mix series DJ-Kicks, but if there's any year that definitively deserves the title, it's this one. Following entries curated by Moodymann, Dâm-Funk, Jackmaster and Marcel Dettmann, independent record label !K7 Records wrap up 2016 with a mix by Daniel Avery, the tech house DJ who burst onto the scene with 2013's excellent Drone Logic. While fans of that record will have to keep waiting for a full-length followup, this mix should whet appetites for Avery's sophomore album.
Trancelike and hypnotic, DJ-Kicks seamlessly transitions from track to track, despite the abundance of varied musicians, including international talents like Svreca, Rrose, Artefakt and IORI, as well as more familiar names like Shlohmo. Avery himself is only directly involved with three tracks — ambient closing cut "Space Echo," "A Mechanical Sky" and a new track from Rote, his collaboration with BleeD boss Volte-Face — but his fingerprints are all over every track. His signature tech house style is audible throughout the project, lulling the listener into a state of bliss and relaxation.
However, this is definitely a mix meant for certain contexts. If you're going to play this at a party, for instance, expect a very sleepy party. This is a mix best listened to during long drives home or doing work late at night. If you're not in a particular mood, listening to this can be a chore. If you are in the mood, though, this is another solid entry in a series full of them. It's not a new Daniel Avery album, but it's close enough. (!K7)