This is a continuous in-the-mix CD compliled and mixed by Chicken Lips (Steve Kotey, Andy Meecham, Dean Meredith).
Chicken Lips followed up their Body Music mix for NRK just five months after its release with an entry in !K7's popular mix-disc series. In comparison, DJ-Kicks is more of a selector-style disc, with a number of abrupt transitions -- it doesn't have the liquid-smooth flow that runs throughout much of its predecessor. Selection-wise, it's practically the inverse, with deep crate digging through the '70s and '80s -- instead of recent-vintage left-field house -- as the primary focus; and out of the handful of post-'80s selections that appear, most were put together by the selectors themselves. Seasoned DJs and dance-music geeks will be the only ones familiar with most of the inclusions, and the ageless tracks that will be familiar to many others -- Jimmy Spicer's "The Bubble Bunch," George Duke's "Brazilian Love Affair" -- haven't exactly been run into the ground. While the jarring nature of some of the track switch-ups is a minor nuisance on a couple occasions, there's plenty of evidence that the set was thought out with a good deal of care and imagination. For instance, how many DJ teams would think to bridge the nocturnal electro-disco of the Paul Simpson Connection's "Treat Me" and the clunky, charmingly underproduced machine-drum pop of Tik n Tok's "Crisis" with 20 seconds of Rhythm & Sound's "Music a Fe Rule"? Another testament to the group's daring approach to DJing is the way they're able to lead into the George Duke track with -- get this -- the Raincoats. Granted, the Raincoats track that's used is Dennis Bovell's dub mix of "Animal Rhapsody," but it's still impressive that those two artists are put back-to-back in a natural, not-just-for-eclecticism's-sake sense. Rare productions from underground legends Arthur Russell and Greg Carmichael only add to the disc's allure. A pair of fine, albeit very different, mixes in one year -- well done, Chicken Lips. ~ Andy Kellman