Leon Vynehall

DJ-Kicks

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AllMusic Review by

Leon Vynehall has always scoffed at being labeled a house DJ/producer, and his soul-searching 2018 full-length Nothing Is Still proved his ambitions as a composer rather than just a creator of banging club tracks. His installment of the long-running DJ-Kicks series, like several other volumes, is more of an eclectic set geared for home listening than a night out. It's the type of mix that will send certain listeners scouring the internet and used record stores for long-forgotten vinyl, potentially spending way too much money in the process. Even if it doesn't, it's guaranteed to expose you to several things you weren't aware of, even if you also possess DJ crates as deep as Vynehall's. The first half of the mix darts between several different styles and eras (funky Japanese pop/rock from Haruomi Hosono's early-'70s solo debut, early-'90s Brit soul from the Bygraves, '80s tape-mangled industrial noise from Bourbonese Qualk), and the segues generally keep the vibe going without making too much of a scene. Halfway through, the mix gets significantly more propulsive and beat-driven, with DJ Zozi's lo-fi house groover "Mellow Vibe" arriving like a burst of sunshine. Following a few '90s deep cuts (including a deep house gem from Crinan), there's a brief set of exclusives, culminating in the kinetic electro-techno of "Faxing Jupiter" by the wonderful Peach. Vynehall interrupts this mood to ramp things up a bit, with some pirate radio interference leading into some jungle (including a scorching rarity from Source Direct alias Mirage), IDM (the track from AFX's Hangable Auto Bulb with the sample of a guy asking a kid "Why do you hate mashed potatoes?"), and a relatively calm footwork track from Jana Rush. It all concludes with a nice, placid piano composition by Robert Haigh. Vynehall's DJ-Kicks plays like a set by adventurous college radio DJs eager to show off every record that's been exciting them lately.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 1:51
2
feat: Kemikal
2:01
3
feat: Tomaga
2:17
4
feat: De Fabriek
0:42
5 3:01
6
feat: dgoHn
3:04
7
feat: The Bygraves
4:21
8 3:40
9 0:41
10 4:16
11
feat: Shamos
2:37
12 3:04
13
feat: Run Dust
1:44
14
feat: DJ Zozi
3:06
15
feat: RAC
2:17
16
feat: Primitive
2:32
17
feat: Crinan
4:58
18
feat: Ploy
2:58
19 2:04
20
feat: Pavilion
3:02
21
feat: Peach
3:29
22
feat: Etch
4:36
23
feat: Mirage
4:41
24
feat: AFX
4:03
25
feat: Jana Rush
2:59
26
feat: Robert Haigh
3:08
blue highlight denotes track pick