Much loved mix series reaches its 50th instalment...
DJ Koze - DJ-Kicks

Brewed from the same cauldron as 2013 LP 'Amygdala' and born with the appetite of his two 'Reincarnations' volumes, DJ Koze - in reality German selector Stefan Kozalla - holds a mirror up to the genre of mixtape miscellany and commutes via a Narnia-like portal beyond the headphones and under the skin. Koze is a humble alchemist, transmuting between the leylines of buoyant and fluffy, darker and diligent.

Sagely assuring and full of his signature foibles, the scene is set by friendly urchins occupying an idyllic getaway you won't find on any globe. Pixie-dusted folk tales from Broadcast and tousled bluegrass shanties presided over by Raf Rundell lounge in a lucid daze, after showing respectful and respectable hip-hop chops. All while traversing munchkin weirdness from cLOUDDEAD over to the true school investment of Strong Arm Steady, and the area in between, occupied by Homeboy Sandman.

Under a moonlit sky, Koze smuggles the vibe away from the outside world and into a loving nook, yet just as easily flings open the windows and zips out. Meticulously scrutinising tempo with a jeweller's eyepiece, he continues, moving from an enclave owning its own secret knock, and an appearance by William Shatner, to the dancefloor's eye of the storm. His incorporation of lo-fi house and cosmic techno uplifts through the smallest dosage, and induces a powerful stupor until you're out the other side, perching on a Balearic mountaintop.

The mix concludes by being beamed back to its home planet with the pretty remarkable 'Superstar' by The Gentle People. Kooky plus knowledgeable - all in all, a fitting way for DJ-Kicks to bring up their 50th.

8/10

Words: Matt Oliver

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