Album Review – DJ Kicks – Digitalism


Artist: Digitalism
Album: DJ Kicks
Rating: B+

German’s are known for many things, not least of which is their efficiency and the production of spotless products. Digitalism’s DJ Kicks does exactly what it says on ‘die büchse’, creating a mix for !K7’s legendary DJ Kicks series.

Recorded in their very own World War II bunker, the Hamburg duo have melded not only their mixes with those of others, but battered and crafted tracks from umpteen different genres to produce a fluid and surprising record.

Six new exclusive Digitalism tracks feature on the record, along with brand new edits and custom fit remixes on the others. Much of the other music on the mix comes courtesy of friendly associated labels and producers, cleverly mixed up with tracks by models of the past. Their magpie-like tendencies and talent for assembling and combining shifting sounds together is uncanny, and with genres as diverse as electro, rock and synth-pop, new wave and trance, techno and disco-punk being combined on this one record, it defies the odds and far from sounding like an audio train wreck, the piling of ideas pooled with the dexterity of their mixes serves to create a new cold electro-like sound.

The track ‘Surrender!’ which is tinged with Crystal Castle-like beats and a tempo liken to M83’s tracks is a gem, as is the 2 Many DJ’s pastiche of ‘A New Drug’. The low point to this album comes in the form of just one track, the horrific Kate Bush-esque song entitled ‘Sail Away’ by The Rapture. Though it has been mixed by Digitalism, not even their skills could save this number, it is unfitting and slightly off-putting to say the least.

Regardless of the sheer scale of diverseness, what the listener is delivered is a brand new electro sound and the essence of cutting edge Germanic das cooler.

In a Nutshell: Clean, slightly sterile eclectic-electro.

by Emily Mullen