Booka Shade


Booka Shade's contribution to the long-running DJ-Kicks series is one of the best DJ mix CDs of the year. More than just a compilation of obscure electronic tracks, it blends selections from Yazoo, Brigitte Bardot, Heaven 17 and Carl Craig into an adventure both unpredictable and comforting. The German production team doesn't define its tech-house aesthetic by banging tracks, but technique, whether mixing Cerrone's disco odyssey "In the Smoke" with Ben Westbeech's "Hang Around" or taking a breather with Aphex Twin's lonely piano melody "Alberto Balsam." Meanwhile, the mix never lets up, as sets that utilize nondance tracks sometimes do; it bubbles on for more than an hour, from Booka Shade's own "Estoril" to Matthew Dear's "Don and Sherri." Booka Shade's DJ-Kicks is a perfect primer for people searching for dance music that is wonderfully musical as well as rhythmic. 4 stars.