Just when it seemed DJ Kicks had changed to a more indie-friendly and mainstream series, !K7 picked the up-and-coming house producer Henrik Schwarz to curate. Showing that its dedication to highlighting lesser-known names will not be ignored now that it can attract bigger names (Four Tet, the upcoming Hot Chip installment), this is one of the better DJ Kicks mixes in recent years. Though Schwarz is a German house producer, this is deep soul music, merging the straight stuff like D’Angelo and Marvin Gaye with the shimmer bliss of the deejay/producer’s own music.
Beginning with “Bird’s Lament,” the album takes a laid-back approach similar to the Kicks offerings from Cam or Truby Trio. But really, this is part two to Viktor Duplaix’s mix: It’s a soulful house record that’s made for the end of the night, before everyone’s too high to move but after the biggest beats have come and gone. Along the way, a great remix of Coldcut’s “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” improves upon the original, Arthur Russell is mixed into Womack and Womack, and ultimately the collection has a calming effect on the listener. This down-tempo mix will sit nicely next to some of the greats in the series.
Label: http://www.k7.com/Audio: http://www.myspace.com/henrikschwarz