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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive

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Various/ Erlend Øye
DJ Kicks (review #2)

Midway through a long car trip, your left hand hanging out the driver's-side window into the cool night air, a great song comes on the radio. (I know, I know, this never happens anymore. Indulge me.) As the song chugs through the opening bars, doing its wind-up, you sing the first verse over the intro and your voice and the music stream out together — at least until the real vocals start up, echoing your spontaneous performance. ("See?" you think. "I knew all the words.")

Maybe Erlend Øye, the distinctive voice of Röyksopp's "Poor Leno" and the Norwegian indie duo Kings of Convenience, was behind the wheel when he came up with the little flourish that lifts his installment in the "DJ Kicks" series above the faceless mass of mix albums. As Øye spins records, he sings, doing the car-radio-intro bit over The Rapture's "I Need Your Love," but more often creating something like an on-the-fly mash-up, grafting melodies both familiar and un- onto the minimal-techno tracks that make up most of the disc.

When a snippet of "Venus" (by Bananarama or Shocking Blue, take your pick) or "You Were Always on My Mind" floats over an intricate electronic composition, it injects some pop melody into music that is wonderfully textural but that many listeners find repetitive and inaccessible. About half the tracks are electronic, with several coming from Germany's up-to-the-minute Kompakt label, but oddball variety is the rule. The shimmery pop of Phoenix ("If I Ever Feel Better") rubs shoulders with The Rapture's acid-house revival and Avenue D's tasteless raunch ("2D2F"). Best of all, Øye nearly duets with himself on the Silikon Soul remix of "Poor Leno," singing The Smiths' "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" while his own vocals from the original occasionally bubble to the surface.

Seamlessly meshing all of those elements is difficult, and it's the disc's main weak point. Almost as often as beatmatching, Øye uses tricks like shutting off the turntable or letting a song echo and fade. In one particularly shameless segue — shameless enough to work, actually — he gets on the mic and announces the next record, "Rubicon" by Alan Braxe and Fred Falke, like an emcee at a wedding reception.

That feeling of cheeky enthusiasm, along with the innovative singing and strong track selection, goes a long way toward making up for a lack of turntable chops. If anything, the party ends too soon, as "Dexter," Ricardo Villalobos' epic of minor-key minimalism, signals a downshift into several quieter tracks. In a line of "DJ Kicks" albums that includes Kruder & Dorfmeister, Thievery Corporation and other heavyweights, Erlend Øye's contribution is a welcome new voice.

by Dave Renard

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