Album Review: Dj Koze – Dj Kicks


For the 50th edition of the venerable DJ Kicks series, self-proclaimed techno shaman Koze steps up with something special. This isn’t a club mix, at times it’s barely a mix (in the technical sense) at all. Instead Koze manages a far trickier feat- rather than beat matching a load of rigid tempo house cuts, his mixes are blended by atmosphere, with a sense of sweet melancholy tingeing everything ever so slightly sepia. 

Opening with his own contribution to the DJ Kicks series, I Haven’t Been Everywhere But It’s On the List, a dusty stroll of soul samples and languid hip hop beats, Koze proceed to meander through Stones Throw hip hop instrumentals and his own edits of leftfield MCs such as cLOUDDEAD and Homeboy Sandman. There’s a sense of timelessness to it all- slow, sentimental disco samples and sampled breaks may not be ground breaking material, but Koze has a deftness of touch, and a depth of feeling that makes the whole greater than the sum of parts. Midway through he switches up to a house tempo, but even then the lovelorn aesthetic remains running throughout, offering a strange sort of miserable pleasure. As with all strong records, Koze’s DJ Kicks flies by; 70 minutes gone in a sigh. It may not be happy, but it’s certainly good. 8/10