The DJ-Kicks series has become so synonymous with quality electronic music, that you don’t really need to know who’s been asked contribute as the results are invariable startlingly good. Get it right, and people still talk about it 15 years later (here’s to you, Carl Craig and Kruder & Dorfmeister). Not a challenge to be taken lightly then.
This success is obviously not based solely on it’s reputation. The carefully hand-picked contributors are varied, interesting, and on top of their game. There is no room for fads only truly world-class electronic musicians, making Maya Jane Coles the perfect candidate to record the 41st installment.
As her first commercially available mix, this is 22 tracks of intelligently chosen, woven and packaged dance music. However to consider it as just a collection of dance tracks is slightly unfair as this is a fantastically well balanced assimilation of songs that transcends its parts. Energy levels throughout the hour-and-a-bit dramatically ebb and flow as more subdued moments rub shoulders with their more aggressive counterparts.
The opening gambit is anything but risky as characteristically deep and sophisticated house music invades your body from head to toe. The real gems here are the vocal tracks “Chasing Kurt – Money” and “Bozzwell – In my Cocoon” which probably isn’t surprising when, as she says, “90% of my album is vocals tracks”. Rounding off this section is her exclusive “Not Listening” which sounds, well, like a Maya Jane Coles track…paddy, warm, enveloping house music with a rather large nod to 2-step and garage. From here the mix begins to evolve as Maya introduces us to a more diverse sonic palette using her alter-ego ‘Nocturnal Sunshine’ to deliver the mixes definitive moment. In her own words “I’m preparing people for what they are going to hear next from me”. Other standouts include “Zenker Brothers – Berg 10”, “Last Magpie – No More Stories”, and the Youandewan remix of “Gerry Read – Roomland”, all of which shuffle under a mirage of tinny organic percussion and groan with often-ominous bass. As the mix cascades towards its casually stripped back conclusion we are left reflecting on another sensational contribution to the DJ-Kicks series.
Stream Below // Released April 17th (Highly Recommended)