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DJ Kicks

Erlend Oye
DJ Kicks

Although I'm not their biggest fan, I do enjoy the work that I've heard by Kings Of Convenience and enjoyed their Versus disc in which they were remixed by a variety of excellent artists. Although I didn't care much for Erlend Oye's first solo album (found it a bit bland), I have to admit that I'm completely won over by this DJ Kicks mix compiled by him. Another in the line of outstanding mixes (the Kruder And Dorfmeister and Andrea Parker efforts are definitely worth having as well), Oye puts his personal stamp on the mix by not only picking out the tracks but actually singing karaoke style over several of them. It sounds cheesy as hell, but it works quite well.

After opening with some German dancefloor by Jürgen Paape, the disc moves into its first such combination as Oye not only drops a remix of one of his own tracks ("Sheltered Life"), but sings vocals from an Opus 3 track over the top. He pops back in at the beginning of "If I Ever Feel Better" by Phoenix and when it makes the transition to the actual band vocals it's flawless. That last reason is really the way that the mix pulls it off. Although Oye changes melodies to fit the tracks that he's singing along with, he has a knack for blending vocals in alongside tracks that you wouldn't think of putting together.

Two examples stand out on the disc in particular. Over the Silikon Soul remix of "Poor Leno" by Röyksopp, Oye sings vocals to the excellent (and much-covered) "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" and it fits like a charm (especially when his own vocals from the original track softly breath in at the end). Even stranger is Oye singing "Always On My Mind" (Willie Nelson!) over the dancefloor grinder "Skateboard" by Metal Chix. In addition to his unique vocal coups, Oye includes some downright awesome tracks on the disc as well, including the fluttering electronics of "Winning A Battle, Losing The War" by Minizza, the banging minimal dancefloor of "Airraid" by Jackmate and the obscuro and hilarious "Radio Jolly" by Jolly Music. All in all, this is a fun electro-dance release that is 55 minutes well spent. Heck, you'll probably even find yourself singing along with Oye after awhile.

Rating: 7.75