Hot Chip: DJ Kicks

Listeners familiar with past DJ Kicks installments by Henrik Schwartz and Four Tet already know how eclectic the series can be. Hot Chip upholds that tradition with an equally wide-ranging party mix that extends as far back as early Ray Charles (his voice so young-sounding on “Mess Around” it's almost unrecognizable) and the volcanic wail of Etta James (“In the Basement, Part One”), then on to Joe Jackson's Night and Day classic “Steppin' Out” and New Order's “Bizarre Love Triangle” (which still sounds wonderful, despite having been heard hundreds of times, especially when its “Every time I see you falling…” chorus kicks in). There are some memorable transitions: the abrupt segue from New Order to Young Leek's “Jiggle It” startles, and Nôze's “Love Affair” seamlessly merges with Audion's “Just Fucking (Roman Flügel's 23 Positions in a One-Night Stand Remix)”; Hot Chip also shows unerring taste in adding Dominik Eulberg's divine stroke of tech-house genius “Der Buchdrucker.”

The set starts off in neo-‘70s mode with Grovesnor's outing “Nitemoves” whose vocal-Rhodes piano intro has more in common with Lionel Ritchie and Supertramp than Matthew Dear and Ellen Allien but the mix soon after rights itself with old-school hip-hop (Positive K's “I Got a Man”), Gramme's grungy electro-raver “Like You,” and Black Devil Disco Club's locomotive “On Just Foot.” Hot Chip's own new “My Piano” imposes itself with a potent roller-coaster hook in the chorus, ultra-smooth vocal weaves, and a fiery synth solo, while Wax Stag's vibrant synth-pop setting “Short Road” casts light so brilliant it's blinding. The good times keep coming with Grauzone's “Film 2,” Gabriel Ananda's “Doppelwhipper (Live),” and Lanark's (Hot Chip members Felix Martin and Al Doyle) graceful vocal-based microhouse (“The Stone That the Builder Rejected”). Whether your taste leans towards Berlin techno, hip-hop, tech-house, blues, or R'n'B, you'll likely find it here, and if there's something you dislike, chances are it'll only stick around for a minute or two before moving aside for the next piece (Tom Zé's Cademar” and This Heat's “Radio Prague” are so short they're fragments).

June 2007