Booka Shade / Various DJ-Kicks

Booka Shade / Various DJ-Kicks
Booka Shade are prime candidates to weigh in with their own DJ-Kicks mix, but the one-page accompanying this record insists they "are not DJs. On this fact they are both agreed.” Well, they could’ve fooled me. Considering the agreeable selection of winning tracks they’ve accumulated for this assignment, Arno Kammermeier and Walter Merziger give the impression it’s their livelihood. For their Kicks, the Get Physical label owners assemble a track list that mirrors the vibe of their own minimal electro. As they have stated, this mix isn’t about timeliness, so don’t expect the latest banging hits. Instead, Booka Shade utilise subtle tempos, tastes and mixing skills to string together the 22 tracks. The most notable facet is the rhythm, which the duo keep in check at all times, be it through mixing Carl Craig into a couple of Matthew Dear cuts (one of which is a Hot Chip remix) or a peculiar choice by Brigitte Bardot, with a new one of their own, "Numbers,” which marks their first real foray into using vocals. Even the ill-advised effort of meshing Aphex Twin’s humble "Alberto Balsam” and Heaven 17’s boisterous "Geisha Boys and Temple Girls” keeps their cool. Whether they want to admit it or not, Booka Shade are DJs, and their DJ-Kicks entry proves they’re damned good ones too. (!K7)