Michael Mayer

DJ-Kicks

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AllMusic Review by

Following a collaboration-heavy full-length for !K7 titled &, Michael Mayer returned to the label with an installment of the ever-popular DJ-Kicks series. Most of Mayer's commercially released mix CDs have appeared on Kompakt, the Cologne-based techno institution he helps run, and are typically heavy on material released by the label, but the only Kompakt-issued track featured in the mix is Justus Köhncke's 2007 cover of Michael Rother's "Feuerland." As with most of Mayer's mixes other than the Speicher CD series, he's not aiming to show off the latest wares of his label or a treasure trove of rare or unreleased productions by himself or his colleagues. He's going for emotional impact, and the tracks' sequencing is of greater importance than anything else. A spacious, tabla-driven piece by trombonist (and Arthur Russell associate) Peter Zummo begins the mix, and seamlessly floats into Mayer's own "The Horn Conspiracy," the only new, exclusive track on the program. The first third or so of the mix consists of slightly dazed astral disco, sometimes with spoken words (in English and Russian), and sometimes with flutes or strummed guitars. Starting with Mayer's remix of "Honey" by Brazilian band CSS, the songs are significantly more sentimental, particularly Kasper Bjørke's devastating breakup anthem "Apart" (also remixed by Mayer) and Röyksopp's mix of Mekon and Marc Almond's "Please Stay." Even instrumental tracks such as Alter Ego's new wave electro stormer "Gary" are just as dramatic as the ones with lyrics. Later on, Mayer resurrects Basement Jaxx's Simon Ratcliffe's surprisingly great remix of Throbbing Gristle's classic "Hot on the Heels of Love," and follows it up with a Chris & Cosey remix of Death in Vegas that could've fit on one of the ex-TG duo's albums from the '80s. As with most DJ-Kicks volumes, this one seems geared toward home listening rather than attempting to replicate a club set, but other than a shimmering interlude by Idioma near the end of the mix, Mayer keeps the beats steady most of the time. His mixing style, as ever, is minimal and unobtrusive, letting the records speak for themselves. Minimal, however, is not at all an accurate descriptor for the actual tracks contained within this powerful, stirring mix.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
feat: Peter Zummo
2:39
2 3:41
3
feat: Anrilov / Bvoice / Danilov
5:45
4
feat: Save!
3:55
5 5:57
6
feat: CSS
4:24
7
feat: Alter Ego
4:00
8 6:44
9 8:03
10
feat: Mekon
6:30
11
feat: Dreems
4:10
12
feat: Boreal
5:12
13 5:45
14 5:06
15
feat: Idioma
2:29
16
feat: Jon Hopkins
4:56
blue highlight denotes track pick