K7’s DJ-Kicks series has been around for a long time now.
It’s not much of an exaggeration to refer to it as “venerable” at this point,
considering the artists who have participated, including Carl Craig, Kruder
& Dorfmeister, and Juan Maclean, to name just a few. DJ-Kicks allows DJ’s,
musicians, and producers to stretch their wings a bit, crafting mixes compiled
of their own work as well as tracks from those they admire and respect. Gold
Panda’s entry into the series is no different – in fact, it’s an exemplary
piece of work.
The British producer (real name Derwin Schlecker) has two
albums and several EP’s and singles under his belt, all of which have received
generally positive acclaim. His beats tend to be laid back with ambient
undertones, and he keeps that theme going in his DJ-Kicks selections. The mix
begins with one of his new singles, the beautifully trilling “An Iceberg
Hurtled Northward Through Clouds,” which then smoothly segues into Melchior &
Pronsato’s cool “Puerto Rican Girls,” a track that bubbles along smoothly and
smartly. Even as Schlecker ventures into electro territory (Drexciya’s
“Andreaen Sand Dunes”) or ’90s-style tribal breakbeats (Muslimgauze’s “Uzi
Mahmood 8”, an excellent selection), he keeps the mood consistently low-key.
Another one of his own songs, “Back Home,” made the cut, and
rightfully so – this stuttering groove fits perfectly into the mix, especially
coming on the heels of Closer Musik’s “Maria.” And that’s really the key here,
as it is on any mixtape – sequencing, track selection, and mood, whether it’s
keeping it consistent, subtly changing the tone or wildly but skillfully
shifting it. Gold Panda seems most interested in the former on his DJ-Kicks
mix, keeping the dynamics understated, but the results are consistently
interesting, melodic, and effective.
Home” “Uzi Mahmood 8” JONAH FLICKER