I’m not big on DJ mixes. So, you might be asking, what the hell makes me qualified to review one of the CD’s in the DJ Kicks series? Well, nothing really. I don’t go to clubs, I don’t dance and I have never been enticed by the DJ culture. What I do like is good music. Erlend Øye, being the bespectacled, Napoleon Dynamite look-alike member of the Kings of Convenience, makes great music and thus, recognizes great music. Unlike other DJ’s, however, he doesn’t just play records, he interacts with them, singing in segues, sometimes singing over entire instrumental pieces. That’s why his volume of DJ Kicks will appeal to both his indie rock fans as well as those involved in the DJ world.
Beginning with the Moby-esque “So Weit Wie Noch Nie” from Germany’s Jürgen Pappe and then effortlessly transitioning into Erlend himself singing a mix of “Sheltered Life” from his solo album and “Fine Day,” made famous by Kirsty Hawkshaw. A segue between Cornelius, Øye singing an intro into Phoenix’s “If I Ever Feel Better,” and then finally the song by Phoenix themselves is one of the highlights of the album, though not the best by a longshot. The only real blemish on the record is the inclusion of Avenue D’s “2D2F,” an over the top sex song that just doesn’t fit in with the rest. It’s akin to relaxing with glass after glass of good red wine until someone hands you a Keystone Light. Huh?
Anyway, the best part of the album is when Øye sings the Smiths’ “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out,” which seems to be the cover du jour as it was also recently redone by Joseph Arthur, as well as by Neil Finn and the Ocean Blue previously. Finally, including bands like Phoenix and the Rapture alongside pure dance floor only songs was a stroke of genius. Too often, one of the reasons I never really get into DJ mixes, is that there is rarely anything recognizable. Although this album cannot be technically what is now called a `mash-up,’ it certainly does a great job of mixing different styles, overlapping, and creating anew. One of the best albums of last year.
Daddy G- DJ Kicks
Tricky- Back to Mine