“Not many labels are better suited to capturing the different in electronic music than vaunted German label !K7 and its DJ-Kicks series. Kicking off in 1995 with a slew of club-focused mix CDs from the likes of Joey Beltram, Claude Young and Stacey Pullen, the series moved into experimental territory two years later when it commissioned a mix from Scottish singer-songwriter Nicolette, which inspired further out-there entries, especially Rockers Hi-Fi’s lush and languid May 1997 release. Laurel Halo’s latest DJ-Kicks dovetails these approaches, a fleet-footed, hour-long mix that dishes out slow burners and gut punchers in equal and effective measures, remaining engaging and weird throughout.
A compelling aspect of the mix is its lack of linearity, which is also evident in Halo’s general artistic approach. Her dynamic back catalogue conveys everything from ambient, fever dream feelings (‘The Sick Mind’) to vocal-led, gelatinous pop (‘Jelly’). One particularly locked in, tech-centred section of the mix, which includes Final Cut’s armour-clad ‘Temptation’, is bridged by the peaky jazz of Geoffrey Landers’ ‘Brian’s Having a Party’ before dashing headfirst into Via Maris’ ‘Side Effects’, which churns with Timedance otherworldliness.”
View the full round-up of Albums & Singles on The Quietus