djkicks

The !K7 DJ-Kicks series, now in its seventh year, has always seemed to live in the shadow of London’s all- encompassing Fabric mix compilations. But !K7′s curent set of spring/summer releases are a ridiculously strong trifecta.

The Juan Maclean [DFA] presents us with the most purely danceable focus of all three releases, pumping it up with a mix of house, old and new, from Chicago, Armando’s “Don’t Take It” (Thomos Edit), through Detroit with Rick Wilhite’s “Get On Up!” (Theo Parrish’s Late Dub) then onto Berlin with Florian Meindi’s “Here Today Gone Tomorrow.”

Kode9, head honcho at leading British label Hyperdub is next up with a mix that covers all the base[s] of British low-end music right now (low end means base-driven!) It’s everything you’d hope for from a mix representing a truly exciting period of British electronic music: diverse, fun and unexpected. The more interesting corners of dubstep are covered thanks to Ikonika, Digital Mystikz, Zomby and Ramadanman. Our new-school garage pioneers Grievous Angel and the “what the f***” wonderfulness of Addison Groove (Headhunter’s latest alias) with “Footcrab.”

We round things out with the lower-key release from Scottish techno wiz kid and head of the Border Community Label, James Holden. The mix redefines what it means to be dance music in 2010. It’s house techno filtered through a folky, pastoral sound system. It is typified by Holden’s own remix of “The Sun Smells Too Loud” by Scottish post-rock band Mogwai, set deep in the middle of this journey, but is so perfect and appropriate. Common to all three mixes is a willingness to take you to the unexpected and keep you interested and intrigued, and loving !K7 for churning out these gems. (!K7) –Andrea D’Alessandro