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A lot of folks feel like they know DaM-FunK; he is laid-back, affable and personable but to truly get the guy, I mean really understand him, is to know a deep love of music like no other. A more suitable reflection of this is his contribution to the beloved DJ-Kicks series. A snapshot into the mind of the pioneer of Modern-Funk music…get to know the man behind the shades. At a satisfying 19 songs, Dam lets grooves breath, this is a mix to happily get lost within. It's a document in vibe. Unexpected contemporary joints from low-key producers like Henning and L33 mingle with lost gems from unlikely places. 80's Fusion-Jazz guitarist Tony Palkovic on "True To Yourself" follow the the airy-burn of new-age ensemble Gaussian Curve's "Broken Clouds" or the super rare bliss-Funk of "Theme From Beach Boy" from 1982. Dam's excellent collaboration with Nite Jewel, as 'Nite-Funk' on "Can U Read Me?" is pure bliss and such a fantastic collaboration you'd be yearning for more, reminding listeners that one of Dam's biggest assists is his duality from master DJ to trend-setting producer. And we get this heavy on Dam's DJ-Kicks exclusive "Believer". Sheets of synth lines fall all around a locking drum program that starts off innocently enough but ends you in a half-hypnotic state. An extensive instrumental composition that on its own could only be classified as signature Modern-Funk. There may be a lot of folks dabbling but there really is only one Damon.
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Larry Heard AKA Mr Fingers remixes DaM-FunK's 'Believer', his exclusive track contribution to the DJ-Kicks series. Collaborating with Nite Jewel on the B side, 'Can U Read Me?' sees its first pressing on wax.
Next up to close out a hefty year of DJ-Kicks releases is one Daniel Avery, bringing with him two exclusive new tracks and a host of techno heavy goods
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Limited white 2LP vinyl, includes full DJ Kicks mix on CD. DJ Koze – with his friendly and sometimes slightly melancholic take on the world – is one of the greatest auteurs of club music today, and one of the few internationally active DJs who dares to make music that has relevance beyond the dance floor. During the 70-minute journey on his DJ Kicks – the 50th edition – Kosi Kos manages to establish a uniform color even though genres alternate in a way that is rarely heard on a mix CD: the stripped down hip hop of Madlib, brutalist Berghain techno, timeless songwriting, floating indie-pop and outlier numbers that oscillate between absurdity and melancholy. Koze's disregard for the stylistic yoke presents him with an immense challenge. Hence, almost all the tracks are more or less edited, and one is fully rhymed (Session Victim: Hyuwee). Koze rambles on here himself: "I didn't want to kick around sophisticated knowledge, but rather try and weave together some good gems that would make sense to anyone, even people who aren't necessarily music nerds". But this is blabbing that you can count on, also because he approaches the term "mix" from a different angle and doesn't even try to make something fit that doesn't fit: "During the day, I don't need to hear anything that's mixed on the beat. I put the focus on making sure that it works harmoniously – the idea is more to create the impression of a radio show, like people such as John Peel did so uniquely. There is a giant cosmos of music and it runs through my filter".
Following a year that saw the 50th entry in the long-running series released to wide acclaim, DJ-Kicks returns in 2016 another landmark edition. Iconic Detroit DJ and producer Moodymann is at the helm for his first ever multi-artist DJ mix compilation. Born Kenny Dixon Jr., Moodymann is a one-of-a-kind electronic music icon, hailing from, and wholly synonymous with the Motor City. He is an outspoken, impossibly charismatic artist who has been putting a distinctive and soulful stamp on house and techno since the early 90s. Melting together jazz, funk, soul, blues and rock in captivating ways, he is responsible for some of electronic music’s most definitive tracks, EPs and LPs on labels like Planet E, Peacefrog and his own KDJ and Mahogani Music imprints. As able to serve up the sweetest and most sensual sounds as he is the darkest and most depraved grooves, his own unique voice and stream of conscious musings infuse expertly sought-out samples for music that is decisively alive and authentic. Across 75 minutes and 30 tracks, Moodymann does not disappoint: despite being a notorious vinyl fetishist, Dixon’s aim is to present music of quality, not to one-up fellow collectors. Rather than serving up ridiculously rare or hard-to-find records, he instead focuses on creating a libidinous, blues-drenched mood that takes in heart-breaking soul, gorgeous hip-hop and love-fuelled house. In addition to cuts from his own creative circle, the mix features 11 exclusive Moodymann edits. Like everything Kenny Dixon Jr. touches, DJ-Kicks showcases the taste, skill, and soul of a dance music original.
Tricky embraces change. He keeps on moving; sins who were sent abroad by the US to start revolutions and topple governments. He called them keeps on switching up a gear; keeps on mutating... keeps on evolving. It’s what keeps him vital as an artist. After moving to Berlin early this Spring, he immediately started work on a new musical project called Skilled Mechanics. In his trademark husky West Country burr, the Bristol born musician, producer and rapper explains where the name came from: “It’s from a documentary about espionage. There was an ex-C.I.A. ‘skilled mechanics’. I thought that was a great name for someone who was a killer basically. The name was so dark and cynical it just stuck with me.”Skilled Mechanics is the statement of a true original British talent - one who will never coast on his former achievements and will always keep on changing and adapting to face the future.
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Joseph Abajian (DJ Jab) founded Fat Beats in 1994 with nothing more than a shoestring budget and an earnest obsession with the music, the culture, and the brotherhood of New York’s burgeoning rap scene. What began as a simple vinyl shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side quickly became an integral hub for artists, both aspiring and established, to convene and collaborate on new projects. Joseph’s timing couldn’t have been more impeccable. When the 90’s cultural zeitgeist – and, in turn, the music industry establishment – chose hip-hop as its new arbiter of cool.
International tourists and touring artists alike flocked to Fat Beats for rare vinyl, kindred spirits, and exclusive in-store performances from Jay Z, Eminem, Gang Starr, Outkast, Slum Village, Mos Def, and more. One thing was clear: the Fat Beats phenomenon could no longer be contained in a single basement shop.
In the late nineties, Abajian proceeded to open new stores in Amsterdam, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. He further expanded the company’s profile to include global distribution and record label branches. Distribution has since proven to be the company’s strongest and most enduring enterprise. Today Fat Beats Distribution stands poised as one of the country’s pre-eminent distributors of vinyl & specialty item records: a proud survivor in an industry now famous for its mortality rate. Despite market fluctuations, technology innovations, and stylistic revolutions, Fat Beats has remained steadfast in its commitment to the timeless vinyl format and to the loyal community who keeps it spinning.
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