Thursday, May 31, 2007

MUSIC: DJ Kicks: Hot Chip

I know this has been out for a couple of months but I completely forgot to write a review for it. If you're a fan of the whole electro/hip hop/house mashup, read the review after the jump, then get your own copy of it. Awesome. And quirky.

Hot Chip have been quietly producing their own blend of kitschy-electro-house for the better part of two years now, and although have hit the mainstream now, are still coming up with the goods where it matters.


Hot Chip step up in the same quirky, off-kilter-yet-catchy way that has been synonymous with the group since their inception. Former band member Grosvenor (Rob Smoughton) opens with the delectable opening chords of Nitemoves -for about a minute and a half, before a strange Lionel Richie-esque vocal kicks in with elevator-like drum & bass beats, all the while crooning about "making love on the hot summer afternoon" and feeling "lonesome". If you kept that barf-bag from your last trip to Bangkok, you'd do well to fish it out before letting Track 1 play out to its end.

The next few songs thankfully lift the mood, ranging from Positive K's positively old skool I Got A Man, to Gramme's downright funk-driven, swinging Like You. The playlist then slides into some abstract, synthy house from Subway, and then Soundhack with B1.

For me though, the next two songs represent the pinnacle of the album; Tom Ze's delightfully infectious Cademar gets a reworking here, the old skool Brazilian bossa nova classic is crossed with a quirky 3 / 4 beat before seguing (not altogether smoothly) into Hot Chip's upcoming single, My Piano. A standard 4/4 house beat rails the background, while a simple, low-key yet catchy piano roll morphes between the detached vocals of Alexis Taylor.

While there's nothing immediately stunning about this song, the subtle accompaniment sets this apart from the other songs on the album with its delicate, jazzy undertones. I could gush all day about this song but I won't.

My Piano fades out before Wax Stag's Short Road kicks in with its early 90s rave stabs and drums, and then New Order make an appearance with a remixed version of Bizarre Love Triangle. The obligatory early 90s old skool house continues for a while until Young Leek's cheeky Jiggle It precludes the magnificent In The Basement, a duet between Sugar Pie Desanto and Etta James that harks back to bygone eras we all wish we were a part of.



The next ten songs belong to Hot Chip's legendary dirty house mixes, ranging from Wookie's Far East, Gabrial Ananda's live version of Doppelwhipper, to Noze's titillating Love Affair.

Rounding off the mix comes Joe Jackson with his 1982 New Wave sounding Steppin' Out, before Ray Charles makes a perfect ending with some classic rhythm & blues in Mess Around.

A diverse mix that shows how bossa nova, hip hop, electro-house and rhythm & blues can fit without once losing cohesion.


DJ Kicks - Hot Chip (!K7, 2007)

Tracklisting:

01 Grovesnor - "Nitemoves"
02 Positive K - "I Got a Man"
03 Gramme - "Like You"
04 Subway - "Persuasion"
05 Soundhack - "B1"
06 Tom Zé - "Cademar"
07 Hot Chip - "My Piano (DJ-Kicks)"
08 Wax Stag - "Short Road"
09 New Order - "Bizarre Love Triangle (Shep Pettibone Extended Remix)"
10 Young Leek - "Jiggle It"
11 Etta James & Sugar Pie DeSanto - "In the Basement, Part One"
12 Black Devil Disco Club - "On Just Foot"
13 Dominik Eulberg - "Der Buchdrucker"
14 Grauzone - "Film 2"
15 This Heat - "Radio Prague"
16 Wookie - "Far East"
17 Gabriel Ananda - "Doppelwhipper (Live)"
18 Marek Bois - "You Got Good Ash"
19 Lanark - "The Stone That the Builder Rejected"
20 Pete Um - "The Man's Got Me Beat"

21 Nôze - "Love Affair"
22 Audion - "Just Fucking (Roman Flügel's 23 Positions in a One-Night Stand Remix)"
23 Joe Jackson - "Steppin' Out"
24 Ray Charles - "Mess Around"


2 comments:

Borrego said...

I'll see if I can find it.

Pixelated Scraps said...

Definitely worth checking out if you're into the whole electro-pop-clash thing. Some nice pics on your blog btw